Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What You Should Know

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

Two Heroes From Our Community

You should know that out of so many Black and Hispanic elected officials in the New York State Legislature, this year, only two of them had the guts to show their complete dissatisfaction with Governor Andrew Cuomo by voting to reject every single part of the Governor’s Budget.

State Senators Adriano Espaillat and Kevin Parker were the only two minority legislators who dared to vote against the Governor’s Budget.  They voted NO!  because the Governor’s Budget did not include the DREAM Act and other positive initiatives we truly need to help our community.

It was very disappointing to see and hear the two main sponsors of the DREAM Act trying to explain the reasons why they voted for every part of the Budget.  It is equally disturbing to observe how all of the legislators are trying to pin the blame on the Republicans – when we all know very well that it was the Governor who refused to include it as part of his Budget.

Senator José Peralta, the Senate sponsor of the DREAM Act, and Assembly Member Francisco Moya, the DREAM Act’s Assembly sponsor, are two people who have been pushing and pushing for the inclusion of the New York version of the DREAM Act for many years – but they lacked the courage to challenge the Governor and vote NO! for every single piece of the Governor’s Budget did not include it.

They seem to follow that double-standard example set by El Diario la Prensa and its CEO Rossana Rosado who publicly defended and supported the DREAM Act, and then went to the Governor’s mansion to eat his food, drink his wine – and then tried to put the blame on the Republicans.  (They actually try to claim in their newspaper that the DREAM Act did not pass because of Republican opposition!)

Unfortunately, this technique of doing nothing for the community that you represent, and later blaming the Republicans has become the modus operandi of many of our elected officials.  This has become a way of laughing in our faces and taking our community for granted.  They just do their personal wheeling and dealing with the Governor and do nothing on behalf of our community – and then pin the blame on the Republicans.

You should know that it was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget – NOT the Republican’s.  The DREAM Act was not included in the Budget it was because the Governor refused to include it, just like he did last year.  To put the blame on the Republicans is a farce, a joke, and an insult to the intelligence of our community.

Senator Adriano Espaillat appears to have learned from last year’s lesson when the Governor told him that he will deal with the DREAM Act at a later date - to no avail.  That is the same thing Governor Cuomo is now telling Senator Peralta and Assembly Member Moya.  Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that the Governor won’t make fools of them.

The DREAM Act is what Senator Espaillat calls the most important issue for our community: “This is our gay marriage, this is our gun control.”

My advice to Senator Peralta and Assembly Member Moya, is that I have seen this movie before, and it’s too bad they couldn’t find the courage to follow our two heroes, Senators Adriano Espaillat and Senator Kevin Parker.

My Two Cents on Senator Malcolm Smith’s Situation

After learning about the difficult and embarrassing situation for which my senate colleague, Malcolm Smith is going through and after so many calls from members of the media asking for my comments I am herewith expressing my two cents.

Those who know me, should know that I don’t kick people when they are down, I pray for them as I will be praying for Senator Malcolm Smith and his family and I extend my hand to help them get up as I did with Senators Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate, Carl Kruger and others. That is my calling. That is my responsibility and that is what God expects me to do.

We all know that Senator Malcolm Smith is entitled and will have his day in court and the opportunity to prove his innocence if it so. In the meantime, let’s keep praying for him and his family and wait for the outcome.

I am Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.

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