Redistricting has changed the once majority black district into a majority Hispanic district. While Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood remain as part of the district 200,000 Bronx voters have been added to the district. The mostly Hispanic communities of Bedford Park, Kingsbridge Heights, Van Cortlandt Village, and most of Kingsbridge were placed in the new 13th Congressional District. A date of June 26th was also place as the date of the new congressional primary.
Charlie Rangel has claimed to be the incumbent in this new district as most of it came from his old 15th Congressional District. Rangel has the backing of the Manhattan and Bronx Democratic county machines (and we said that both Democratic county leaders were looking at the proposed district lines for a possible future run). State Senator Adriano Espaillat announced his intention to run in the now majority Hispanic 13th C.D. Senator Espaillat has nothing to loose if he does not get elected to congress, as he can still run for his state senate seat in the September Democratic primary.
We sat down last week with Mr. Clyde Williams, who is another candidate in the 13th Congressional race. Mr. Williams is concerned how the district has problems that have not been addressed by Congressman Rangel. High unemployment, lack of jobs, poor public education, lack of accountability, and high oil prices are high on his priority list of things to get done. How can Clyde get that done, I asked. Mr. Williams who first praised Congressman Rangel for the good things that he did in the past, and said that there are new problems now then there were in the past. He went on to say that there are huge health care disparities and education gaps.
Mr. Williams spoke of putting people to work in the jobs that are needed, such as nursing, auto mechanics, electricians, and other good paying jobs. when I asked about the Empowerment Zone that Congressman Rangel set up, Mr. Williams said most are out of business by using the funds for the community, but that "the Harlem Empowerment Zone still has lots of money left". Mr. Williams said that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created right now if tourism was set up not only for lower Manhattan, but the rest of the city. New Hotels and restaurants could be built for tourist to stay over rather then come for an hour or two, or to see the Yankee game then leave.
When I asked Mr. Williams what his qualifications for congress were, he said that he knows the D.C. area very well, the president, and how congress works. He added that he worked for both President Clinton and President Obama in high level positions. Mr. Williams believes like others do that in this election the Bronx will play a key role in determining who the representative from the 13th Congressional District will be. He is making important connections in the Bronx, and plans to keep them. when asked if he is doing all this to set up for a run for office when Congressman Rangel decides to retire possibly in 2014 or sooner, Mr. Clyde Williams said "I am in this race to win this race".
|Mr. Clyde Williams stands in front of the Kingsbridge Armory with two of his supporters||.|
|Here the trio stand by the Kingsbridge Road Subway station of the # 4 subway line. On Mr. Williams left is Mr. Ephraim Cruz of Bronx For Change, and Mr. Anthony Rivveccio of NWBD on his right.|