We are disappointed in this morning's New York Post editorial alleging that our organization only "promotes boys' club - not women." Ensuring that we have racial and gender diversity in elected office and a government that looks like the people that it serves is a matter that is deeply important to us as an organization.
While this is definitely a worthwhile conversation and something that we are genuinely concerned about, making baseless accusations like the one promoted in today's op-ed serve no purpose other than to malign a community that has historically led the way in pursuing candidates of diverse backgrounds for public office and party positions. Basing such accusations on three term-limited seats, as opposed to over a dozen instances proving the opposite, is short sighted and using selective information.
Here are the facts:
Under the current leadership of the Bronx Democratic Party, the organization has been dedicated to increasing diversity and helping to elect and appoint women to positions of power and influence. The editorial merely glosses over the fact that we made history in 2015 by selecting Darcel Clark as our candidate to serve as the first female Bronx District Attorney and the first African-American woman ever to serve as District Attorney in the State of New York. And in 2016, we had five Civil Court and Supreme Court vacancies and decided to fill each vacancy with women - Patsy Goldbourne, Doris Gonzalez, Bianka Perez, and Myrna Soccoro and Marian Doherty. Each of these woman also helped to increase ethnic/racial diversity in the Courthouse as women of Costa Rican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Irish descent who now serve as newly minted Civil Court Judges and Supreme Court Justices in the Bronx County. When there was a vacancy in the 2nd highest position in our executive board in that same year, we continued the trend and elected to have Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner serve as our County Committee Chair. Within the past two years there were four new appointments to our Executive Board - Mariela Salazar as Parliamentarian and Kolaco Acqui, Miguelina Camilo, and Linda Kemp as vice chairs; each and every one appointed is a woman of color. In this same period, we also had the opportunity to make appointments to the Bronx Democratic Commissioner and Bronx Chief Democratic Clerk positions in the leadership of the NYC Board of Elections where we once again chose two women - Rosanna Vargas and Brendaliz Candelaria, respectively. The op-ed also chose to highlight two candidates who the author claimed were "snubbed." Each candidate sought our endorsement, met with our leadership on multiple occasions, and was given a clear explanation of the reasons why we chose to not endorse them, none of which had anything to do with their gender.
If anyone wants to write an editorial on our track record, we encourage them to actually do the research and look at the facts; making these kinds of accusations based off of just three recent endorsements is unfair and fails to look at the whole picture. Interestingly enough, the author of this editorial makes this selective analysis today but surely had no issues when he was the Party's choice over a female candidate in 2003 in a special election to replace former Assemblywoman Gloria Davis, an outgoing female elected official.
We are going to take the Bronx Democratic County organization at its word, however had there been a primary instead of a backroom deal to giver Darcel Clark the position of Bronx District Attorney, it is my belief that had there been a Democratic Primary for the position that current Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda would have been the next District Attorney.
As for the soon to be vacant 32nd State Senate district when Ruben Diaz Sr. becomes Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. the county organization should allow Annabelle Palma to run for the seat, and not make a backroom deal to have Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda have no Democratic opponent in a special election for the vacant 32 State Senate seat if and when Ruben Diaz Sr. wins the 18th Council seat. Also Councilwoman Palma should not be told to go for Assemblyman Sepulveda's seat if and when he wins a special election for the 32nd State Senate seat.
Where is the Democracy in the Democratic Party in the Bronx?