Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thursdays celebration of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade

   Thursday night at Maestros was billed as Abrazo Boricua in celebration of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade inc. This should have been up a day earlier, but I was still in shock from the love fest that went on between Governor Paterson and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. The two who on Thursday morning were exchanging barbs and calling each other names while threatening to shut down New York State had nothing but praise and good words for each other. Also on hand were Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., New York State Comptroller Tom  Dinapoli, Assemblyman Marco Crespo, Ms. Madelyn Lugo President of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, and Hon. Anibal Vega Borges the mayor of the Municipality of Toa Baja.
   Over 400 people were in attendance, including 76th Assembly candidate Luis Sepulveda who has lost 22 pounds in the past few weeks running all around the 76th Assembly District. State Senate Conference Leader John Sampson arrived after Governor Paterson had already left, but Sampson also had only kind words for the governor, while loving words for Senator Diaz.
   One person not able to attend was Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., who's aide said that Espada was on his way from a late night in Albany and would not be able to make the event in time. The only thing missing then would have been Assembly Speaker Silver, and maybe the budget could have been hammered out that night.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Candidate Enters the 80th Assembly Race

Here is a statement from Irene Estrada-Rukaj announcing her candidacy for the 80th Assembly.
   On June 8, 2010 Irene Estrada-Rukaj, dedicated community activist and Bronx resident, has announced her candidacy for State Assembly in the 80 th district.  This is the culmination of a life-long dream to bring together her passion for community service and politics. Irene Estrada-Rukaj has worked diligently with elected officials, religious leaders, business leaders, non-profits and educational and sports organizations to coordinate events such as crime prevention conferences, toy drives and access to educational and recreational programs to benefit the residents of the Bronx."Equality in the entire district is an important issue. Equal representation for all communities to have a voice that will bring results."   
   Raising her children in a single parent home has inspired her to fight harder for much needed community outreach. She is concerned with issues that are undermining our family structure and are compromising our quality of life such as poverty, access to education, immigration, health care, law enforcement and emergency services. During these times of economic struggle, the District belongs in the hands of a leader that will be available to the community and work hard to fight for serious issues that affect all residents. Enough of the (missing in action) assembly: let's welcome  Irene Estrada-Rukaj , the woman who will hold our 80th District together. 
    Ms. Estrada-Rukaj is an ordained  Minister and New York State Chaplain, a member of Community Board 11, Tenant Association President of the Mayfair / Mayflower Building, Founder and Director of the Mini Olympics Children Organization, 49th Pct. Community Council former member and former Civilian Advisor for the 49th Pct. Youth Explorers and a Graduate of the Civilians Police Academy. Ms. Estrada is the Parent Coordinator of Aspire Preparatory Middle School. Ms. Estrada is a member of the 49th Pct Clergy Coalition. 
   Irene Estrada-Rukaj will be knocking on doors and can be reached by email at  
Making a difference since 1982.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Petitions -Who's on First?

I wanted to start off with the old Abbott and Costello routine that went Who's on First, What's on Second, I Don't Know-Third Base, because that is what some of the petitions look like.
First you have to look at the petition to see who is listed in what position, and then say I don't know how that happened. A case in point is one of the petitions for 80th Assembly. The assembly candidate is Naomi Rivera, Male District Leader Kenny Agosto, Female District Leader Mariam Schwartz, Male State Committee Joe McManus, Female State Committee Diane Savino. You might say how did that happen, but it gets even more puzzling when you look at the committee to fill vacancies. Here you find the names Stanley Schlein, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Michael Benedetto, Helen Diane Foster, and Annabelle Palmer. So when you look at this petition again you say Why, or Because  and wind up in the outfield. If you really want to join the Abbott and Costello routine you say to the person with the petition why should I sign today when I can sign tomorrow, and you will be told that is our pitcher and catcher to end the story. 
I hope you liked my comparison of this to an Abbott and Costello routine. Next is the old Laurel and Hardy saying "Now look at the fine mess you got me into now".

Monday, June 7, 2010

80th Assembly Race Update

MORRIS PARK, THE BRONX – After discussing a plan of action with fellow community minded individuals of the 80th Assembly District, twenty-seven year old John Jay College graduate student and former Obama campaign field organizer, Robert Giuffre announces that he will campaign for the seat in the Democratic Primary election.  Proudly endorsed by previous challenger and community leader, Joe Thompson, Giuffre will run a true grassroots campaign. Thompson commented on his endorsement:
“Robert has displayed a passion to improve his community. By challenging an incumbent and political establishment, he has proven his courage and fortitude. Albany, with few exceptions, has proven to be self-centered rather than community-minded, and it is time we elect representatives who truly believe in the constitutional words: of the people, by the people and for the people.”
Robert Giuffre is starting his campaign very late in the political season because other potential candidates displayed interest in running. Out of party loyalty and respect, Giuffre intended to support the best qualified challenger. After it became clear that no challenger would step up to the plate and run, Giuffre decided to throw his hat into the political ring. Giuffre commented on his candidacy:
“I am profoundly honored to receive the support of Joe Thompson and other dedicated members of the community. Living in Morris Park my entire life, and having long-term family roots here, I feel this election is a fight to ensure that this area remains a place where someone would want to raise a family. I could not sit on the sidelines as another election cycle passes without a serious primary challenge. Many career political insiders will label this campaign a whimsical upstart effort with no real chance of success; this is flawed logic. With such low voter turnout in primary elections, a grassroots campaign could win with little money, but a strong and energetic candidate who isn't afraid to knock on doors and work hard. I plan to do just that, and I thank all the people who have showed support and have vowed to join me. My campaign's message is simple: "quality of life in the neighborhood and real reform in Albany"; my overall goal is equally simply: to prove that the people control their political destiny, not back room political wheelers and dealers.”
The campaign is gearing up for the start of petition circulation, and the campaign committee is accepting campaign contributions to “Friends of Rob Giuffre.” More importantly, any New York Democrat interested in collecting signatures to ensure ballot access should contact the candidate directly at (347) 538-6231. A website is under construction and will be up and running shortly.
Friends of Rob Giuffre