What You Should Know
By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz
You should know that African-American State Senator Jamaal Bailey is emerging as the next Democratic Party Chairman in Bronx County, replacing Assemblyman Marcos Crespo who resigned leaving politics to work in the private sector.
You should also know that political leaders such as Congressman Adriano Espaillat, State Assemblywoman Natalia Fernández, and Assemblyman Víctor Pichardo among others, have publicly expressed their opposition to Jamaal Bailey, claiming that said position should be filled by a member of the Hispanic community.
My dear reader it is important for you to know, that the congressional seat for District # 15 in Bronx County, based on its Hispanic demographics, has been held by Latinos for almost 50 years. This seat was first occupied by Herman Badillo, then Roberto Garcia, and for the last 30 years has been held by Jose Serrano.
During this past Democratic Primary elections, held in June of this year, there were several Hispanic candidates vying to fill said position. In addition to myself, were Puerto Rican, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Richie Torres, the Dominican Ydanis Rodríguez, and Samelis López, among others.
On that occasion, Assemblywoman Natalia Fernández and Assemblyman Víctor Pichardo were heading those, who seemed to have forgotten the Latino Demographics of the 15th Congressional District, and publicly endorsed, the African-American, Assemblyman Michael Blake. They not only ignored that this congressional seat has a trajectory of being held by a member of the Hispanic Community, but they went against the people’s right to have a congress member that is representative of the areas Latino population.
If they could not support my candidacy due to my anti-abortion and anti same-sex marriage positions, they could have supported Richie Torres, Viverito, Ydanis or Samelis, but they chose not to, and instead threw their support behind Michael Blake. How disingenuous! What audacity and what nerve they have to say that the "Democratic County Chair" and "Borough President" positions should be occupied by a Hispanic. Simply put they are opportunists. They have the audacity to claim that the Latino community should be represented by a Latino, simply put because one is vying to be Democratic County Chairman and the other aspires to be Bronx Borough President. So now they claim and stand on their Hispanicity! What hypocrisy!
Few years ago, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, demonstrated the same audacity when he, being a Dominican Hispanic, chose to go against his own and threw his support behind Robert Jackson, going against Dominican Senator Marisol Alcantara, he also denied his support for Dominican Senator José Peralta. These two Dominican Senators, Peralta and Alcántara lost their Senate seats.
Espaillat also had little interest in defending, protecting or maintaining the unity of his own community, when he threw his support behind Mark Levine, against a fellow Dominican ,Guillermo Linares, denying the Dominican Community from having one of their own as their representative in the City Council.
At no time did Adriano Espaillat claim Hispanicity to defend them or the Dominican Community. This brings to mind the childhood story entitled "The Emperors New Clothes”. Now Espaillat wants to deceive his community by supposedly putting on “new clothes”. Now he wants to come to the Bronx and present himself as the great virtuous leader in defense of Hispanicity, when he never had the courage or the moral will to defend his own people in his own backyard. My dear reader this Emperor has no new clothes.
Jamaal Bailey is a very decent Afro-American Senator, super prepared, dedicated to his community and not looking to be critical of anyone. It is very true that Senator Bailey and I have ideological differences and core beliefs, but I say, “render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s.” Jamal Bailey’s qualifications are insurmountable when compared to some opportunists who only come out to defend Hispanics when its convenient and beneficial for them personally.
You should know that I bring this to light, not because of what some might say or think that its due to sour grapes. I bring this to light because I am tired and disillusioned with so much hypocrisy. I have decided that from now on I will expose those that are opportunist and who use the Hispanic community only when its personally advantageous for them.
I am Councilman Rev. Rubén Diaz and this is What You Should Know.
This seems to be a rivalry between Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. and Congressman Adriano Espaillat that goes back to when both were in the State Senate, and on different sides on most issues.
In our coverage of last weeks Norwood 'Food and Mask Giveaway' we mentioned State Senator Jamaal Bailey as the next Bronx County Democratic Leader, and it seems that others now realize that should happen. We have nothing against the others mentioned by Councilman Diaz, but we question Congressman Espaillat's ability to control a Bronx County Democratic organization when the majority of his district is in the borough of Manhattan.
Assemblywoman Fernandez has announced her intention to run for Bronx Borough President. While currently it is a long shot, should she be elected Bronx Borough President she could not serve as Bronx Democratic County Leader, otherwise our current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, would have been the Democratic County Leader, not former Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Assemblyman Pichardo in our opinion is not ready to be the Democratic County Leader.
Two years ago I asked State Senator Bailey if he was ready to become the Bronx Democratic County Leader. His answered that there was a Bronx Democratic County Leader in place, and maybe sometime in the future he would have to give the position some thought. The time is now, and State Senator Bailey has matured quickly in the State Senate and the borough of the Bronx. State Senator Jamaal Bailey should be able to be the leader the Bronx Democratic County organization needs to bring it back to where it should be, while embracing the new dynamics of the current political thinking.
That is what you need to know.