Saturday, September 29, 2012

RKA Car Wash

   Earlier today the Parents Association of the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy sponsored a student car wash. Drivers on Independence Avenue at the corner of West 237th Street (where RKA is located) were flagged by students holding "Car Wash Today" signs. As drivers decided that their cars needed to be washed other RKA students wet the cars, put on soapy sponges to remove any dirt on the cars, washed off the soap, and then toweled down the cars (as you can see in the photos below). The charge was $10.00 which  goes into to the general PA fund, and then is redistributed to the school. At last year's car wash about $1,500 was collected, and projections for this year's car wash was $2,000.00  by PA Co-President Sheree Tallerman. I was able to talk to a few of the drivers who said that they agreed with the RKA students that their car needed a good hand car wash, and were glad that the money was going to the school.

Left - RKA students looking for potential car wash customers.
Right - The start of the car wash as the soapy water is put on the car.

Left- The car wash progresses.
Right - Another car at the start of the car wash.

Left - The soapy water is rinsed off.
Right - The car is towel dried.

The car wash was not limited to cars as even one student had his bicycle washed.

Specialized High School Testing

     The Specialized High School testing process of using the results of only one test taken by students for entry to the specialized high schools (ie. Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech) was defended by Mayor Bloomberg in response to a federal complaint by several advocacy groups that the test was discriminatory. Bloomberg said of the test "admission to those schools is based strictly on merit, and it’s one of the bright lights in our school system”. Bloomberg added that the test is non discriminatory "the students with the highest scores are admitted without prejudice to ethnicity". Bloomberg later told a reporter “Life isn’t always fair”. 

    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.commented the following on the issue.
“I am perplexed by Mayor Bloomberg’s insensitive ‘life isn’t always fair’ comment.  Is it possible Mayor Bloomberg neither appreciates nor comprehends the inequities at play when it comes to equal access to test preparation for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and educational opportunity as a whole in New York City?

Moreover, the DOE has failed to understand what every major university in the country has recognized – that standardized test scores alone do not indicate the merit of a student or measure their academic abilities. Relying solely on test scores for entry into our specialized high schools is wrong and does an enormous disservice to the thousands of worthy economically disadvantaged students.

“My office issued a report on this very issue in May, titled “An Action Plan for Fixing the Specialized High School Admissions Process, which was cited in the law suit and attached to the complaint. 

“The report documents declining numbers of Bronx students are receiving offers to our two most prestigious public high schools. It evidences how an entire private industry of test preparation for the SHSAT has priced out the poor and does not service African-American and Latino communities.

“However, I applaud the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Latino Justice PRLDEF, the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College and Garifuna Coalition, USA Inc., for standing up for what is right. It is unfortunate that the Department of Education has failed to create pathways for our neediest children to be successful.

“In the Bronx, we have some of the brightest middle school students in the City, if not the nation. It is time for the Department of Education to stop placing artificial limits on enrollment and provide students in the Bronx and the City with the proper resources to make sure that their minds can thrive,” said Borough President Diaz.

A full copy of the report can be found at the following link:

Wave Hill Events October 12–October 19

Buildings on the Land/Arquitectura de Wave Hill
Explore Wave Hill’s greenhouses and the impressive Ecology Building with its original bowling alley and roof of green grass. Then create your own visionary structure using clay, cardboard  and natural and recycled materials. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river, Tai Chi is a sequence of gentle movements based on images found in nature. Short and long form classes are led by Irving Yee, an active member of the William CC Chen Tai Chi School. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.
ON THE GROUNDS, 10AM Beginners, 11AM Intermediates

Family Gallery Tours offer an opportunity for children and their parents or caregivers to enjoy looking at and sharing ideas about art. Tours will include discussions and activities about contemporary art that responds to the natural world. The tour begins promptly at 1pm and lasts approximately 45 minutes. A maximum of 20 visitors can be accommodated on the tour. Children ages 4 and older are welcome with an adult. Free with admission to the grounds.

Growing figs in New York City often evolves from a garden pastime into a garden passion. Fruit expert and fig fancier Charles Day shares cultivation information for growing your own Ficus carica in the ground or in a container. A chef from Great Performances shares cooking tips and figgy recipes for your anticipated backyard bounty.

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history.  In the Sunroom, Crystal Z. Campbell and Yeon Ji Yoo fill the space with site-specific works inspired by local social and natural history. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM. Free with admission to the grounds.

Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and behaviors on these walks through the gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill. Ages 10 and older welcome with an adult. Severe weather cancels. For weather-related updates, call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM the
day of the walk. Free with admission to the grounds. (NYC Audubon Members enjoy two-for-one admission.)  Registration required, online at, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center.

Release stress and find refuge from city life by practicing seasonal yoga, surrounded by the beauty of Wave Hill. Hatha Yoga involves the use of physical postures, breath control and meditation to create a supple, strong and relaxed body-mind. Classes are led by Neem Dewji, certified in Hatha and Therapeutic Yoga from The Yoga for Health Foundation in Bedfordshire, England, and The Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. Participants should bring a mat, dress in loosely fitting clothing and come to class with breakfast well digested. All levels welcomed. Sessions are held outdoors only and are weather dependent. Call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8AM on the day of the class for weather updates. Session fee: $15 Member/$23 Non-member. Registration opens onsite at 9:30AM.

Buildings on the Land/Arquitectura de Wave Hill
Explore Wave Hill’s greenhouses and the impressive Ecology Building with its original bowling alley and roof of green grass. Then create your own visionary structure using clay, cardboard  and natural and recycled materials. Free with admission to the grounds.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Join us for an hour-long tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Join an exhibition interpreter for one of our regularly scheduled tours of Wave Hill’s fall exhibition Foregrounding the Palisades, sculptural installations by artists Isidro Blasco, Blane de St. Croix and Paula Winokur that focus on the cliffs across the Hudson River, a quintessential feature of Wave Hill’s vista—and history. Tours take place Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2PM.  Free with admission to the grounds.

Having survived the perils of the growing season, how do plants ensure a new generation?  Join Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day as he explains the seed-distribution service provided by the likes of squirrels, jays and even ants.  Find out how seeds can stay dormant for months, or even years, and germinate only when conditions are exactly right. Free with admission to the grounds.

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM—4:30PM. Closes 5:30PM, March 15—October 31.  
ADMISSION  $8 adults, $4 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6—18. Free Saturday mornings until noon. Free until noon October Tuesdays.  Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES  Program s are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at

DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 3o minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the 242nd Street stop on the #1 subway line. Limited onsite parking is available for $8 per vehicle. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at


Registration is now open!

    Join nearly 6,000 cyclists as they hit the road on Sunday, October 14th for the 18th Annual Tour de Bronx, the largest free cycling event in New York State.

With a choice of either a 25 or 40-mile course through the borough’s 61 neighborhoods, there will be enough fun for families, casual riders and avid bicyclists.  

Men and women of all ages as well as children participate in this annual event. Every year local, national and even international visitors make their way to the Bronx just to be a part of the “Big Bronx Ride!”

Produced by the Bronx Tourism Council in partnership with the city’s bicycling and pedestrian advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives, Tour De Bronx promotes bicycling and pedestrian environmentally-friendly methods of travel. Each year, the ride features great neighborhoods, waterfronts, and historic districts.

The ride begins at the Bronx County Building at Grand Concourse & 161st street and ends with a music festival at the New York Botanical Garden.

Check-in time: 9:30 am
25-mile route departs at 10:40 am
40-mile route departs at 10:30 am

To register go to

Tour De Bronx riders don’t pay a fee—thanks to our generous sponsors!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BX Chamber of Commerce


 NYC Workforce Lags Behind Other Major American Cities in Educational Attainment;
Four of Five Public School Students Fail to Earn College Degrees 

    City Comptroller John C. Liu today launched “Beyond High School NYC,” a major initiative to increase the proportion of New Yorkers with higher education to 60 percent by the year 2025 through strategic investments in public education.

“Beyond High School NYC” will publish research, propose educational reforms, and identify strategic investments in public education designed to boost the number of New Yorkers with post-secondary degrees.

“Investment in education promises to enhance City revenues and lower spending, thus attacking the budget problem from both sides of the ledger. Indeed, investment in education today is the best economic development policy for tomorrow,” said Comptroller Liu. “It’s time we reverse New York’s education gap and put our public schools back on the right track.”

The initiative’s inaugural research study, entitled “Beyond High School: Higher Education as a Growth & Fiscal Strategy for New York City,” was released today.

The study found that New York City, which regards itself as the intellectual capital of the country, is actually only in the middle of the pack of major cities based on the percentage of the working-age population with an Associate's Degree or higher. Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, and Boston and all have higher levels of educational attainment based on an analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) microdata.

Economists agree that low college completion rates harm a city’s competitiveness. The study estimates four out of every five New York City public high-school students, or 79%, do not earn two- or four-year college degrees within twelve years of beginning the 9th grade.

The lack of a college degree has significant consequences for an individual’s lifetime earnings.  Digging deeper into the City’s demographics the study found that what New Yorkers earn, by race, closely tracks their educational attainment. Whites in New York City earned, on average, $61,735 in 2010, compared to $28,961 for Blacks, and $24,745 for Hispanics. The percentage of Whites with at least a bachelor’s degree (57.5%) is well more than twice that of Blacks (21.7%) and substantially three times more than the percentage of Hispanics (15.9%). 

“Failing to properly invest in public education deprives the next generation of a chance for prosperous and fulfilling lives,” said Comptroller Liu. “The economic challenges facing our City can best be addressed by educating many more New Yorkers beyond high school. As we work together toward achieving this ambitious goal we will improve our economy and reduce the high costs associated with poverty, health care, and crime.”


“Increases in the city’s high school graduation rate won’t mean much if the administration can’t find a way to provide the real curriculum, teacher supports, and health and social services our kids need to make our graduates college-ready,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

“This is an important effort to create a viable strategy to turn around the shocking lack of educational achievement among New York City’s resident children,” said Ernest A. Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.  “Mr. Liu understands that New York City — with its abundance of wealthy citizens and its vast intellectual power — should be sending more not less of its children to college than any other city in the country is managing to do.”

“This important and timely report reinforces education’s essential role in New York City's future,” said Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees at The City University of New York. “Preparing a well-educated citizenry is the best investment in the future a city can make.   A highly skilled workforce is a prerequisite to success in our global innovation economy, driving job growth and economic development. CUNY is deeply committed to continue working in partnership with the City to increase educational attainment across the five boroughs to help New Yorkers advance themselves and contribute to the City’s vitality.”

“Educational attainment and economic prosperity are inextricably linked,” said Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “Economists and labor experts agree that, in any city or region, the key factor in economic growth and job creation is the education level of its residents. Without access to a well-educated workforce, today’s businesses have little chance of surviving, let alone thriving, in the global economy. Lumina applauds New York City’s efforts to focus on higher education attainment.”

“We concur with Comptroller Liu's analysis of this serious problem in New York City,” said Mona Davids, President of the NYC Parents Union. “We are alarmed that four out five NYC public high school graduates are dropping out college.  Nothing is more important to a parent than the educational achievement of their child and their child's ability to have a great future.  We need more support in our public schools to ensure our high school graduates complete their college education.”

“As parents we all have our hopes and dreams for our children when they enter school and college readiness is an essential and reasonable outcome to expect. This report uncovers the alarming fact that current school reforms in New York City are only preparing 20% of our students for college,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “Comptroller Liu is helping focus New Yorkers on critical issues that have yet to be adequately addressed — like closing the education gap. We look forward to his proposals to increase educational opportunities for New York's students.”

“Every day at Make the Road we see youth struggling to find work in this City,” said Javier H. Valdes Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. “We need to focus resources to make sure that the City’s high school graduates are college-ready and have a fair shot at a future.  If they succeed our entire economy succeeds.”

The full report and a summary of the findings are available for download at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Borough President Diaz & New York Yankees Host Second Annual 'Borough President's Cup' Little League Championship

    Tuesday, September 25, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the New York Yankees co-hosted the second annual “Borough President’s Cup” Little League Championship. The game featured a match-up between the Little League Raiders and the Bronx Bombers Little League, who competed for the title in a game at Yankee Stadium. 

     Below are a few of the photos of the game between the Raiders and Bombers. Again this year there were many different answers to the question "Who is your favorite Yankee player",  The favorites were Arod, Jeter, Granderson, CC, and Swisher, with one answer from a Met fan being Jose Reyes who was traded to the Phillie's.

Left - Raider players meet inside one of the two dugouts used by the Yankees and their opponents.
Right - Several players give each other advice in the dugout.

Left - Bronx Bomer players practice on the feild at Yankee Stadium.
Right - Freddy Rojas of the Bombers stands in the Yankee on deck circle. 

Left Bronx BP Diaz with Yankee Senior Vice-President for Community Relations Brian Smith.
Right - Raiders on the field before the start of the game.

Left - BP Diaz throws out the first pitch.
Right - The first batter for the Raiders.
The Raiders won the game 6 -1, and pose for team photo with BP Diaz.

Autumn is the perfect time to Fall for the Bronx


Interactive Tours throughout the season offer visitors
opportunities to discover and rediscover the Bronx.

     Hikes, bikes, foliage and food! This season there is something for everyone in the Bronx. The “Fall for the Bronx Action Tours” is a series of activities designed to offer visitors an enjoyable, as well as informational experience. 
“The Fall is a magical time in the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Whether you are travelling here from around the world or around the block, there are so many fun things to do”. 
 “It’s also a perfect opportunity to experience some of the wonderful things this borough has to offer” stated Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director of the Bronx Tourism Council.
Each guided tour is themed and includes sites, historical content and interactivity. All tours, with the exception of Tour de Bronx, offers round-trip trolley service from the visitor’s center located at 810 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. 
Saturday, October 6th,
The fun begins with a guided trolley tour throughout City Island, a small community located at the edge of New York City just beyond Pelham Bay Park. After the tour, participants will visit the Nautical Museum, dedicated to City Island’s past and present nautical heritage, including the contributions of famous yacht-builders and sail makers.
Break for a light lunch meal (cost not included in registration fee) at a local seafood restaurant then visit a local art gallery, take in a photo exhibit and chat with long-time residents and artists.
End the day aboard the 65-foot Island Current IV and fish for blues and striped bass. Gear and bait are included in registration fee courtesy of Captain Chris. 
Sunday, October 14th, TOUR de BRONX
Participate in a FREE family-fun event promoting healthy living through
physical activity! Choose the 25 OR 40-mile course that runs through the borough’s 61 communities! Great for the novice rider as well as the biking aficionado!
Both rides feature great neighborhoods, waterfronts, historic districts and end with a music festival at the New York Botanical Garden. This event is FREE, but registration is required at
Saturday, October 20th, NATURE TOUR
Enjoy a walk through the African Plain Exhibit at the Bronx Zoo. Trek past lions and zebras and get as close to the Serengeti as you can in the Bronx!
Then head to New York’s real Little Italy and enjoy lunch at the famous Mike’s Deli at the Arthur Avenue Market (cost of food not included in registration). Hear about the rich cultural history of the Italian-American experience in the Bronx.
Experience the ecology, industry and history of the South Bronx waterfront while paddling your own canoe on the Bronx River. Bronx River Alliance staff will guide you on a two mile tour as you encounter the wildlife, the working river and three of New York City’s newest waterfront parks while learning about the return of this amazing Bronx resource
Saturday, October 27th, FOOD TOUR
Begin your epicurean journey with a visit to the La Finca Del Sur community garden in the South Bronx. Enjoy an exciting tour of a real-life urban farm and partake in a cooking demonstration utilizing organic herbs and vegetables that you can bring home for the family!
Then head to New York’s real Little Italy and enjoy a lesson on making home-made mozzarella. Sample cheeses and enjoy a light lunch in the famous Mike’s Deli in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market (cost of lunch not included in registration). Hear about the rich cultural history of the Italian-American experience in the Bronx.
The tour continues at the popular Bronx Ale House on the west side in Kingsbridge, where you can enjoy a tasting of unique Bronx craft beers! Representatives will give a presentation on the Bronx Pale Ale and the Bronx Rye Pale Ale. Pair your beer with the famous Bronx Ale House’s veggie burger sliders, recently voted the best in the city by the New York Daily News. Samples and sliders are courtesy of the Bronx Ale House.
Saturday, November 3rd, HIKING TOUR
Take a walk through Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries in New York, designated as a National Historic Landmark. Pay tribute to illustrious Bronxites and other notables interred there. Take a guided tour of the gravesites of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Herman Melville, Celia Cruz and more.
Then enjoy a Garden Highlights walk through Wave Hill, overlooking the
Hudson River and Palisades. Stroll through the Aquatic Garden, a friendly environment for fish, frogs and dragonflies. Partake in a light lunch at the Wave Hill Café (cost of food not included in registration).
The day ends at historic Van Cortlandt Park with a hike on the Putnam Trail, where the New York Central Railroad’s Putnam Division once ran. Learn about the Van Cortlandt and Vanderbilt families and what the park has in common with New York’s famous Grand Central Station.
Each tour (except for the Tour de Bronx) is $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Registration includes rentals and admissions as described. All tours make fun stops for lunch but the cost of lunch is NOT included. Tours depart via trolley at 9 a.m. from the Visitors Center in Manhattan, located at 810 7th Avenue, and return at 5 p.m. Tours take place rain or shine, but the hiking and nature tour may be rescheduled in case of inclement weather.
To purchase tickets, log onto The Tour de Bronx is free, but registration is required at For additional information contact the Bronx Tourism Council at 718.590.2502
These tours are hosted by the Bronx Tourism Council, a program of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) funded by the Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Additional promotional support provided by the NYC & Company Foundation.
About the Bronx Tourism Council: Established in 1991, The Bronx Tourism Council is a subsidiary of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), creating a cohesive and symbiotic relationship between arts and culture and economic development. The role of the Bronx Tourism Council is to promote the borough’s rich history, its institutions, and cultural diversity on a local, national, and international level. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Not Democrat, Not Republican … We May Be Better off Voting on the Conservative Line

What You Should Know  
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz 
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

Not Democrat, Not Republican … We May Be Better off Voting on the Conservative Line
You should know that the majority of people in the minority community identify themselves as members or followers of the Democratic Party.  During election time, most minorities vote Democrat regardless of what the purpose, plans, agendas, ideologies or beliefs of the actual candidate may be.
All that our minority community seems to be interested in, regarding any candidate is knowing if the candidate is a Democrat because they will never vote for a Republican.  They think that the Republicans are the devils.   That was the case of the late Senator Olga Mendez.  Our community chose to lose one of the better and more dedicated public servants we ever had instead of voting for her as a Republican.
Since our community doesn’t like Republicans, all what a Democratic candidate has to say is: “I’m a Democrat,” and then blame the Republicans for all the wrongdoing in the world.
On the other hand, you should know that the Republicans do not spend resources or pay attention to us because they think they’ll never get our minority community to vote for them.  All the Republicans need to do is remember what happened to Olga Mendez, and how after 30 years of faithful service to our community, she changed her enrollment to Republican, and lost the election.
Now Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s Presidential candidate appears to have given up his pursuit of the Hispanic and minority vote.  He has given up on us, suggesting that since he will never get our vote, he’s not interested in or cares about us.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the big dilemma of our community.  
When the Democrats get elected, they don’t actually help our community, but instead, cut our services – like Governor Andrew Cuomo did – and take us for granted by saying: “We don’t have to worry too much about solving their problems or protecting them because they are Democrats and they will always vote Democrat.” 
When the Republicans get elected they say: “Why help them? Why bother investing in their communities? Why bother visiting their communities or spending resources on them?  They are Democrats and they will never vote for us.”
You should know that out of the five counties in the City of New York, only one is controlled by Republicans: Staten Island.  The vast majority of elected officials in the other four boroughs are Democrats.  We should ask ourselves: “Why is it that the areas controlled by Republicans are better served, better protected, and cleaner - yes, the streets are cleaner! – than areas that are controlled by Democrats?"   Republicans continue to ignore us.  In national races they aren’t even interested enough to campaign in our areas.
On the other hand, when Democrats get elected they balance the budget in the backs of our community, cut our services, close senior citizen centers and hurt the poor and the needy and blame the Republicans for it, knowing that we will always vote Democrat.
Last year, people of faith – Jews, Muslims and Christians (Catholic and Protestants) – saw how the Democrats and Republicans, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo, forced same-sex marriage laws on us.
I believe that the moment has come when we need to stand firm and protect our communities, our beliefs and our principles. 
In this upcoming election on Tuesday November 6th, we need to send a message to the State of New York and to the entire nation.  Enough is enough – not Democrats, not Republicans, we might be better off voting on the Conservative Line. 
Our commitment to our faith, beliefs and our religions, force us to work for the betterment of social, spiritual, economic, moral and educational conditions of our communities – once and for all, we need to stop allowing people to take us for granted.
I am State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Liberty Democratic Association Annual Awards Dinner

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Castle Hill Community Fair

    The Castle Hill Community Fair took place in the parking lot of Holy Family Church in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The soon to be 87th Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, State Senator Jeff Klein (who recently picked up part of the area in redistricting), District Leader Julia Rodriguez, Mr. Henry Pelayo of the Castle Hill Little League, and hundreds of people were on hand to enjoy the free food, gifts for the children, and the kids enjoyed the games and giant inflatable slide. The only thing missing was State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. who was still nursing his leg from his recent knee surgery. The photos below describe only some of the fun that was had.

Left - Banners of the elected officials.
Right - State Senator Jeff Klein, soon to be Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (middle), and District Leader Julia Rodriguez standing in for State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.

Left - The long line for food.
Right - The reason soon to be Assemblyman Sepulveda wanted to thank everyone for his huge victory,  helping out to serve the food for awhile.

Left - parents wait for their child's turn to go into the giant inflatable and then go down the slide.
Right - David Cromwell enjoys the slide down.

Left - Another photo of the huge crowd.
Right - State Senator Jeff Klein getting to know one of his new constituents.