Saturday, August 3, 2013

Parkchester National Night out Tue. Aug. 6th

  National Night out will be on Tuesday August 6th this year. Across the Bronx in each police precinct local neighborhood people, elected officials, and community leaders join with the local police precinct to celebrate national night out to fight against crime. This event will be held in every Bronx police precinct.
  This came from Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda about the Parkchester National Night Out.
The Parkchester National Night Out is an event sponsored by myself, the NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, and City Councilwoman Annabel Palma. 
Date: Tuesday, August 6th 
Place: Parkchester Train Station (6 line/ Hugh J. Grant Circle) 
Time: 3PM-8PM
There will be free food and drinks. Free entertainment for children. Live music, and more. 
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday, August 2, 2013

11th Council Debate Bedford Park

  Last night there was a debate between the three candidates Andrew Cohen, Cheryl Keeling, and Cliff Stanton in the 11th council race in the Bedford Park area of the district. Moderator Alex Kratz opened up by saying that candidate Cheryl Keeling had been ruled off the ballot by the ballot by the Board of Elections after being challenged by the Stanton camp, but because she was appealing the decision in the courts that she would be in the debate. Kratz also said that there would be opening statements by each candidate, questions by him mixed in with audience questions, and then closing statements by each candidate. During the question and answer round each candidate would be given a chance to answer, with the original candidate answering to be given time to rebut the other answers. That happened only twice.
  Candidate Keeling was first up and spoke of her mother a world record holder in the 60 meter run at various ages over 85, brought her mother up to where she was standing in front of the candidates table, and said that she could be trusted. Candidate Andrew Cohen spoke of his position on Community Board #8, friends of Van Cortlandt Park, family life, his endorsement by almost every local elected official and union, and closed by saying that he would be a full time councilman. Candidate Stanton said that he was the local kid in the race, raised in Kingsbridge, graduated from Bronx Science High School, was Chief of Staff to a councilman (however not naming who), was a successful small businessman, and recruited a new middle school. 
   The first question was "What will be the first piece of legislation you pass in the city council. Cohen spoke of the Living Wage battle, Stanton said he already submitted legislation, and Keeling wants to put music, art, and competition back into the public schools. About the different neighborhoods of the district Keeling was first, and said that she spoke Spanish, that the district was diverse, and named some of the different ethnicity's. Cohen mentioned other ethnic cultures, that he has been from corner to corner of the district, and the main problem is Quality of Life issues from the people. Stanton now said that he grew up in Van Cortlandt Village played little league in Kingsbridge, and his kids go to school in Riverdale. He said that he started a senior transportation program adding, because of his mothers problems. 
  As to where the district office would be Stanton said that possibly a mobile office, but had no answer as to where he would have a district office. Cohen said that the current council office is 20 years in the same location, but is not easily accessible by public transportation. Somewhere in Kingsbridge maybe on Broadway he said. Keeling said her first office would be on a major corridor, and her second shared with a business.
  To the question of allocating monies to schools Keeling wants more art, music, and dance. Cohen spoke of being Youth chair on CB 8 noting after school programs as a priority. Stanton said that items like smart boards and I Pads are nice, but not the right tools. As PA President he said PS 24 raised record funds to help supplement the school. 
  How to get more discretionary funding? Cohen has assembled a strong coalition to help him in city hall to help him get more funding he said. Stanton said that he is not running for Secretary of State. He said that he would be fighting for the community. Keeling said that she learned from a former councilman (not naming who), and that she would do it the way it was done when she was growing up by protesting. 
  On the subject of District 10 schools Stanton said when he went to PS 95 it was a good school. but now it is a troubled school. Keeling said that all schools should be equal, and she moved to Riverdale for the good schools. Cohen said that schools are a mixed bag which he wants to advocate for, but the school system has been under a dictatorship the last 12 years.
  About mayoral control of the public schools, Cohen said it has given the mayor to much control. Stanton said the change is in ourselves, as good parental involvement will make the school successful. Keeling spoke of a movement by parents to take back the schools. 
  As far as the businesses wanted by each Keeling said the malls are coming and we need other stores. She spoke of over regulation and the need to take care of the businesses. Cohen bemoaned the lack of variety in local shopping. A possible Business Improvement District for Webster Avenue, and better restaurants and stores. Stanton said "We just can't wish things to happen".
  On the DOE Fund new supportive housing on Webster Avenue all three candidates opposed the project. On park funding all three agreed that more city money is needed, but Stanton asked Cohen "What have you done as a member of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park"? Cohen replied that he cleared trails in the park. and has redone the mission statement of The Friends. 
  On a question of work hours as a councilman both Cohen and Stanton said that they would be full time councilmen. Cohen then said to Stanton "If you say you are going to be a full time councilman what about your business"? 
  On public safety Cohen said crime is heavy in pockets of Norwood, Perry Avenue as an example, adding that the level of police officers is declining, and the district and city need more police officers. Keeling said that teenagers need jobs to keep them off the streets. Stanton bashed Stop N Frisk mentioning a man who had been through it, and to a follow up question said that he was stopped while driving on his block for talking on a cell phone and given a ticket. Stanton then said that he had a blue tooth connection. Cohen mentioned that 700,000 people have been stopped and Frisked some more than once, and it was unconstitutional. Keeling said that only one percent resulted in an arrest for the original stop.
  To the decline of Bronx students at Bronx Science High School Stanton said that he graduated from the school in1981when kids came from the local area. He said now there are buses lined up to take kids home to Queens, saying that standards do not need to be lowered to accept more Bronx students, but make Bronx schools better. Cohen said to offer more support to students such as prep classes so the student would be ready and do better on the entrance exam to Bronx Science. Keeling downplayed test prep saying that the student needed to be prepared for the courses.
 As to why the Bronx is always being dumped on Keeling said that the 15th Congressional District is the poorest in the country. On affordable housing that she had spoke to six voters in one house, but said they were not from the 11th council district, which brought chuckles and laughter from Mr. Stanton. Cohen said to be careful what you wish for, and that people may get priced out of affordable housing. Stanton said there is a long way to go, change is needed on all levels, not to shot ourselves in the foot.
  To homeless families Stanton said he left a meeting where he heard much of what does not work and very little of what does work not giving any examples. Keeling said people are being evicted to raise prices to make it unaffordable housing. Cohen said that there are 50,000 New Yorkers and 20,000 children who are living in shelters, there needs to be homeless prevention, and the number of homeless has increased under Mayor Bloomberg.
  When asked about the choice for the Putnam Trail Keeling said not paving, Cohen said Crushed Stone, and Stanton said pave it. Council committees to be on Stanton Land Use, Finance, Education, and Transportation. Cohen Land use, Health, Education. Keeling Land use.
  When asked to answer yes to the importance of Section 8 housing, summer youth, day cae, ESL, and after school programs and how to pay for more, Stanton said all yes, leave it up to the Finance Committee. adding to cut down on outsourcing. Cohen also said yes to all adding that economic growth and policies that will generate the growth to pay for the needed services. Keeling said head start slots are needed as some have been cut due to Washington.
  About co-location of charter schools Keeling said that she was not in favor of it. Cohen said that there are two issues one of multiple schools in one building with the added cost of the administrations, and the other of placing charter schools in public schools. He said that he was against co location in public schools. Stanton said that he also is not in favor of co location in public schools adding that is why his charter school is located in a free standing building. He said that charter schools are public schools. 
 Closing statements Cohen went over some of what he said including the endorsements he has gotten. Keeling spoke of her eighteen months with a Jewish family and the experience she received from it back in the 1960's era. Stanton said to compare the candidates and their records. Of the endorsements he said look at where it comes from, and then attacked the Ben Franklin Democratic Club for paying for endorsements for candidate Cohen. Cohen then stated that Stanton was the one who had to pay for an endorsement as reported.
  The debate was then over, but there were questions as to why certain questions were not asked such as one person who said he gave in a question that was not asked. He wanted to know more of this contribution taken by candidate Stanton from the owner of Scores and another strip club, and what it meant.

Left - The three candidates before the debate as candidates Cohen and Stanton seem to be on friendly terms.
Right - Candidate Cheryl Keeling during her opening statement.

Left- Candidate Andrew Cohen giving his opening statement.
Right - Candidate Cliff Stanton.

Left - Stanton attacks Cohen mid-way through the debate about his volunteer work for The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park.
Right - During his closing statement Stanton attacks the Ben Franklin Democratic Club for paying for endorsements for Andrew Cohen. Cohen answers "It is you Cliff Stanton that has paid for your endorsement".


  Huge Endorsement for Surging Public Advocate Candidate 

  Cathy Guerriero, candidate for New York City Public Advocate announced that her campaign has earned the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA). 

Guerriero leads the way in this race with a total of 57 endorsements, from unions/locals, advocacy groups, faith-based leaders, political clubs and media.  Of those endorsements, 20 are from organizations representing uniformed personnel.

“This endorsement is as personal as it gets for me,” said Guerriero.  “I have family members – past and present - who are part of a proud tradition of serving in the FDNY.  The brave firefighters who risk everything to help others in dire need, and the retirees who have done their service deserve elected officials who will stand with them.  They all deserve a Public Advocate who will stand with them to unequivocally oppose the closing of fire houses; they deserve a Public Advocate who will work closely with them to fix the city’s emergency 911 system; they deserve a Public Advocate who will oppose any further reductions in staffing, the thought of which is patently ridiculous since the city’s population is growing.  The talk about closing more fire houses must stop – if anything we need to reopen some of the engine and ladder companies that have been shortsightedly shuttered.  I will be that Public Advocate.  I will stand firmly with the UFA and work to give them the tools they need to continue to protect live and property.”

Steve Cassidy, President of the UFA said, “New Yorkers need elected leaders that will fight aggressively for the resources needed to keep our communities safe and secure.  The last 12 years have been the busiest in the FDNY’s 148-year history and as New York City’s true rescue agency the FDNY needs to be adding resources to address the growth in population and massive development plans in communities across the five boroughs.  Cathy Guerriero has displayed passion, dedication and the work-ethic to make a difference as Public Advocate.    The UFA and New York City Firefighters are proud to endorse Cathy Guerriero to be the next Public Advocate.”    

The Uniformed Firefighters Association represents more than 8,000 New York City Firefighters, Fire Marshals, Marine Wipers and Marine Engineers in the FDNY.  It is the largest firefighters union local in the world.

A senior adjunct professor, former star athlete and small business owner, Guerriero comes from a union family of teachers, police officers and firefighters.  Both of her parents were public school teachers, and for 35 years her father worked two jobs: teacher by day and at night he worked as a longshoremen’s security guard for the Port Authority, helping to provide for Cathy and her five siblings.  

For a complete listing of Cathy Guerriero’s many endorsements and more information on her candidacy for NYC Public Advocate, go to

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bill Thompson Returns to the Bronx

  Earlier today Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson came to the Pelham Diner in the Eastchester section of the Bronx to have lunch with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Assembly members Mark Gjonaj (80th A.D.) Marcos Crespo (85th A.D.) and several other community leaders. As you will see in the photos below Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson received a warm welcome from the patrons in the diner when he and Borough President Diaz introduced themselves. In the 2009 Democratic primary Thompson sweep the Bronx with roughly 75 percent of the vote cast. In the 2009 general election Thompson carried almost 60 percent of the Bronx Vote. 


Left - Before Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson arrived this truck with two union sponsors was on hand to greet Thompson  and the slew of reporters that were with him.
Right - Thompson and Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. went around to greet the patrons. 

Left - Thompson making one of his many points about his campaign as seated to his left is 80th A.D. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and to his right Paul Del Duca Chief of Staff to BP Diaz, BP Diaz, Bronx Democratic County Leader Carl Heastie, and 85 A.D. Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.
Right - Looking over County Leader Heasties back in this view, Thompson listens to what BP Diaz had to say.

1199SEIU, NYC’s Largest Union, Endorses Victor Pichardo for Assembly in the Bronx

  1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East today announced their endorsement of Victor Pichardo for the 86th Assembly District in the Bronx.
Mr. Pichardo is part of a new group of community leaders working for a better future in the Bronx. Kevin Finnegan, Political Director of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said “During the many years Victor has been working as a public servant, he has put the interest of working people first. He has a strong vision for the future of the Bronx, including good jobs, affordable housing, quality education and health care for all.”
“I am honored and proud to receive the support of 1199SEIU, which has one of the most effective, member-driven political programs in the country. With over 220,000 members in New York City, 1199SEIU’s membership represents the hardworking men and women of the 86th assembly district,” said Victor Pichardo. He added “I look forward to working with 1199SEIU members, who are very politically active and engaged, to help improve the lives of the diverse communities that live in the district and the Bronx.”
Born in New York City, Victor spent his childhood living in the Fordham Road section of the Bronx and the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan. After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2007 with a degree in Communications and double minors in English and Sociology, Victor pursued an internship with Senator Charles Schumer in New York City. After completing his internship, Victor became Senator Schumer’s Staff Assistant and was eventually promoted to Community Outreach Coordinator/Latino Liaison.
After serving 4 years in Senator Schumer’s office, Victor expanded his career and became an Associate Director of Public Relations at Mercy College. Although it was a wonderful experience, Victor missed the life of public service and decided to return to his true calling. In 2012, Victor became the Director of Community Affairs for State Senator Gustavo Rivera in the Bronx.

Blood Drive Next Week at Jacobi Medical Center!

Give Blood And Join The World’s Biggest Huddle!
Jacobi Medical Center
Tuesday, August 6  11 am – 7 pm
Wednesday, August 7  9 am – 3 pm
Building 8  Atrium

Donate Blood and Win a Chance to Attend
The 2013 Super Bowl Host Committee has partnered with NYBC to help increase blood donations leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
All presenting donors with NYBC between now and January 17, 2014 will be entered into a sweepstakes for one pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII - valued at $2,500!
Schedule an Appointment- Call 918-3906 or e-mail
Walk-ins welcome!
All donors will receive a Super Bowl wristband and t-shirt! The more you donate, the more times you will be entered!

John C. Doyle  Associate Director, Department of Marketing, Public and Community Relations
JMC LOGO    logo
North Bronx Healthcare Network
1400 Pelham Parkway South, Building 4 - Room 7N21, Bronx, NY, 10461

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Board of Elections Petition Hearings

   Tuesday morning the Board of Elections heard arguments from candidates and the challengers to their petitions. Before the process began however Mr. Michael Rendino was introduced as the new Bronx Republican commissioner replacing the flamboyant J.C.Polonco. In all there were 70 challenges to Bronx petitions, and it was announced the Board of Elections received over 1700 documents the largest citywide total in many years. 
    Early into the proceedings King Stanley Schlein was winning decisions, and the one where he lost he uttered those famous words "For The Moment" when it was said the candidate he was challenging was told they were on the ballot.
  An interesting challenge was that of the petition of Ms. Raquel Batista (15th council district) where the board threw off hundreds of signatures because the county at the bottom of the witness statement was listed as Bronx when the two signature gathers lived one in Queens and the other in Westchester County. King Stanley and the opposing lawyer sparred back and forth with the commissioners about past rulings statewide. After about 15 minutes Bronx Democratic Commissioner Naomi Barrera then made a motion to move the clerk's report (that would have candidate Batista off the ballot) which was seconded by Bronx Republican commissioner Rendino. A vote by the 10 commissioners was 2 in favor (Barrera & Rendino), 6  against the motion, and 2 abstaining. The motion was then amended by a different commissioner to allow for curing of the petition (where representatives of both the candidate & challenger went into a room to go over the petition and the specifications of objections). The vote on the amendment was 8 in favor (including commissioner Rendino), 1 against (commissioner Barrera) and, 1 commissioner abstained as he had done on the original motion.
  450 valid signatures is needed to become a candidate for city council now down from 900 four year ago. Candidates that were ruled off the ballot at the Board of Elections in the Bronx were. In the 8th council district candidate Angel Molina was knocked down to 348 valid signatures and ruled off the ballot.
   In the 11th council district candidate Fernando Spies only submitted,197 signatures, and candidate Cheryl Keeling was knocked down to 427 valid signatures, both were ruled off the ballot.
   In the 12th council district no one was knocked off the ballot by the commissioners. 
   In the13th council district candidate Irene Estrada was ruled to have 104 valid signatures, and candidate Awilda Cordero was ruled to have 90 valid signatures knocking both off the ballot.
   In the 14th council district there was a question of residency to candidate Jessica Vigueras, where as King Stanley (for her opponent) went over party raiding quoting from the George Espada vs Board of Elections case. King Stanley brought out copies of candidate Vigueras's previous enrollment in the Republican party in Westchester County. He then said one must wait one year after changing party enrollment to run for office. This was put off for later after all the challenges were to be heard. I did not stay as I left after the Bronx was finished.
  In the 15th council district candidate Kenny Agosto was knocked down to 290 valid signatures, candidate Cynthia Thompkins was knocked down to 423 valid signatures, both were ruled off the ballot.
  In the 16th council district a question of candidate Pedro Alvarez's residency was referred to legal and not ruled on by the commissioners. Candidate Niyyirah El was knocked down to 133 valid signatures, and candidate Winston Rouse was knocked down to 172 valid signatures, both were ruled off the ballot.
  In the 17th and 18th council districts no candidates were ruled off the ballot.
  In the special election in the 86th Assembly district candidate Isreal Martinez was ruled off the ballot for living in the 87th A.D. and not the 86th A.D. It was also said that the candidate never lived in the 86thA.D.
  On a recall of objections passed on by the commissioners 16th council district candidate Naaimat Muhammed was ruled off the ballot for an improper cover sheet, and not curing it when notified by the BOE. Also 15th council district candidate Raquel Batista was ruled on the ballot when 385 additional signatures were ruled to be valid bringing the total to 512 for enough valid signatures.
The commissioners of the Board of Elections two from each borough, and one from each of the two major parties sit around the large circular table. Various BOE staff sit in the inside of the table. New Bronx Republican commissioner Michael Rendino is second from the right and next to an empty chair.
Veteran election lawyer "King" Stanley Schlein stands next to an associate as they challenge the petition of 15th candidate Raquel Batista standing next to her lawyer.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

11th Council Dabate July 29 on Bronxtalk

   First here is the link to the Monday July 29th Bronxtalk 11th City Council debate. The three candidates in the debate were Andrew Cohen, Cheryl Keeling, and Cliff Stanton. 
   Petitions were submitted by July 15th and there was a fourth petition filed that contained only 179 signatures when 450 valid signatures were needed. There were two challenges (by an agent of Mr. Stanton) to the petition that contained the 179 signatures, and to Ms. Kellings petition in which 1,006 signatures were submitted. There were no challenges to Mr. Cohen's or Mr. Stanton's petitions that were submitted. The Board of Elections was to render a decision on all challenges starting on Tuesday July 30th.

  In the photo above Host Gary Axelbank sits alone on the left, and starting with candidate Cheryl Keeling on the right, candidate Andrew Cohen center, and candidate Cliff Stanton to the right of candidate Cohen. Questions came from the host and from the three candidates.
  It was not long into the debate that the fireworks began between candidates Keeling and Stanton over Stanton's challenge of the Keeling petition in a question as to why by Mr. Axelbank. Ms. Keeling wanted to know why Mr. Stanton challenged her. She went on to say that Mr. Stanton asked her to meet him outside the district to ask her to drop out, and told her that he would not challenge her. Stanton said that was not the case, and that after looking at her petition, seeing hundreds of non registered & out of district signatures he decided to challenge. Stanton added that if Keeling was running in Flushing Queens or the South Bronx it may be different, but this is the 11th council district. Ms. Keeling brought out a copy of her petition that she had in the blue bag that you can see under her chair, and claimed there were enough valid signatures. Axelbank then turned to candidate Andrew Cohen who said that he had not challenged anybody in the race. Stanton rebutted Keeling by saying that 5 pages were done in red ink, and continued to belittle her petition. Cohen again said that he didn't challenge anybody, and Stanton then said that Ms. Keeling was playing the race card .
  Axelbanks next question was about endorsements to Cohen asking if he was a pawn of those who endorsed him or independent. Cohen answered by saying that he was proud of the elected officials and unions that have endorsed him. Keeling said she did not call Mr. Cohen a puppet. Stanton said it was him, and that the endorsements came through the Ben Franklin Democratic Club.Stanton then said of the endorsements- Senator Jeff Klein "Sold out the Democrats in Albany", Congressman Rangel "Was censured by Congress", and that Councilman Koppell "has thrown of good community board members". Axelbank repeated  to Cohen if he could be independent. Cohen replied that he will be going to City Hall with all those people to help him become a better councilman. 
  To a question about her comments in the last debate about voting Keeling said that she is the candidate of the district, that she speaks the language of the district, and when pressed by Axelbank said the squeaky wheel gets the oil by voting more. Stanton said that Keeling took more heat than needed for her remarks, and said that people need to see who is the best candidate.Cohen said that he has campaigned throughout the district. In rebuttal Keeling said that she did not appreciate the apathy of Mr. Stanton. 
  To a question about Charter Schools Mr. Stanton replied that as a parent leader at PS 24 parents wanted more options after 5th grade, and that was why he helped start a local charter school saying it was a public school that does not take anything away from the public schools. Cohen said that work needs to be done to make the public schools better. Keeling said as a certified teacher she has seen what goes on in schools, and wants more art & phys. ed. back in the public schools.
  To a question about community board control such as the cleaning house in boards 1,4, and recently 9, and the hijacking of CB 8 Cohen replied that it is the Borough President who makes all appointments. Cohen added that he is currently on CB 8 as the Aging Committee chair and that the current system of appointments is according to the city charter. Keeling said that she applied to be a committee member of the Parks Committee of CB 8, and that community boards are the grass roots of the community. Stanton on the other hand said that the system is flawed, and has seen how board members are intimidated by the politicians, and that appointments need to be taken out of the hands of the politicians. Cohen rebutted that he will appoint quality people like himself. 
  To a question of malls and big box stores Keeling said that as a former business owner she favors small mom & pop stores over the big ones. Cohen said the two new malls will help enhance the area around them, and that he gets complaints about all the 99 cent stores that line Broadway. Stanton said as a successful small businessman he developed ideas to the commercial corridors better, took credit for bringing a temporary Ice Skating Rink to the area, and proposed a pedestrian plaza on Johnson Avenue. Cohen rebutted that fines are to high to Bronx business compared to those in Manhattan, they should be less he said. Stanton rebutted that he as a member of KRVDC brought movie night to the area. 
  To a question of campaign donations from the owner of Scores Strip Club, and the donation being a down payment to allow strip clubs into the community Stanton said that he will not give the campaign donations by an owner of a strip club back, attacked the Riverdale Review (and its owner) about the front page story about the issue. Stanton then attacked the Ben Franklin Club saying that it is in their playbook to try to deflect attention  away from his opponents lack of qualifications. He added that the owner of the strip club should be celebrated as a successful businessman and not attack him. Cohen said that he does not know why Stanton is accepting strip club money. Stanton then attacked Cohen for accepting a campaign donation from the CEO of the Hebrew Home when the Hebrew Home is presenting a proposal in front of Community Board 8 to expand. Keeling said that she was glad that tonight on Bronxtalk that Cliff Stanton has showed his true colors, to which Stanton then pulled out a copy of the front page story and asked Cohen to Rebuke the paper. Cohen said that he has no contact with the paper or with Ms. Keeling. Keeling then added "How can Stanton go after a newspaper", where as Stanton ended the responses by saying "The Board of Elections will see if you continue in the race". 
  To a question about park funding, conservancies, and Friends of to which Axelbank said Cohen was a member of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. Cohen said this was the first year that park funding has gone up by one percent, and that the city has an obligation to fund its parks. As to where from in a follow up question Cohen said that he was not opposed to private money, but the city needs to do more. Keeling agreed with Cohen, but Stanton said that the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy has worked miracles by getting the ice rink.
   The last question was who do you support for mayor? Stanton - Don't Know, Cohen - No Endorsement, Keeling - Erick Salgado. 
   In short one minute closing statements Stanton said that he is a local kid from the area, Ps 24 Executive Board member, KRVDC member, and a small business owner. Cohen said that he is an attorney with his own practice, has lived in the district over 13 years, graduated from prom public schools, meets people as he travels around the district hearing their problems about quality of life issues, and will be a full time Councilman. Keeling said that she is 62 years old, has spent many years in the public schools, the council district is changing to a district that she is the best to lead it as it changes. 

To watch the 11th council debate for the first time or again  just click the link here for the Bronxtalk home page.

Next Monday night will be the debate between the candidates running in the 15th City Council race.

Pay Your Tickets or the Scofflaw Van Will Get You

   This is what you may see in your neighborhood if there are vehicles parked that owe money to the city. Instead of having the Sheriff or Marshal come to boot or tow your vehicle this state of the art van can find out in an instant if a vehicle has outstanding tickets. After gathering the information after a boot is placed on the vehicle so it is immobilized, and then a tow truck comes to tow the scofflaw vehicle away.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What You Should Know About Walmart

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

It’s About Time to Bring WalMart to the City

You should know that there are many New Yorkers who are willing to drive out of the City and pay bridge and tunnel tolls in order to save money by shopping in New Jersey. They travel to Secaucus and to Bayonne to go to WalMart so they can save money on clothing and groceries, and buy fresh fruit and vegetables for their families at low prices.

When we talk about helping poor people and less fortunate New Yorkers save money, are we taking any steps to help them?  When we talk about helping New York’s senior citizens who don’t have enough money to pay their rent, utilities, food, or medical expenses, are we serious about helping them? When we talk about the struggles of low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford to raise their families, do we provide a way forward for them?

You should know that we are in a very difficult economic situation in New York City.  Our unemployment rate is higher than the national level and higher than the State level.  Our youth unemployment situation is at a
crisis level.  Our homeless population continues to grow, and our food pantries are almost at a loss about how to keep up with the rising demands.

Real steps toward real solutions need to be made, and they need to be made now.

When New York’s elected officials try to stop WalMart from coming into New York City, they are preventing poor people from getting the benefit of WalMart prices.

When New York’s elected officials try to stop WalMart from coming into New York City, they are preventing employment opportunities for families who need jobs.

When New York’s elected officials try to stop WalMart from coming into New York City, they are preventing college students from taking that first step to connecting to the labor market.

When New York’s elected officials try to stop WalMart from coming into New York City, they are preventing high school students from working part-time after school and on weekends – and we all know the important role those opportunities can play in almost any teen’s development.

You should know that it has been well reported that WalMart employee benefits include incentive/bonus plan, health insurance, profit sharing, 401(k), education, store discounts and other WalMart employment benefits.

WalMart certainly offers a lot more opportunities than what many of New York’s campaign volunteers get when they’re out there stumping for political candidates in the hot sun.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s about time that we bring WalMart into New York City. For years millions of working-class Americans have been provided with WalMart’s good service, broad selection and low prices.

I don't know why other elected officials don’t want WalMart their districts.  I wish I could have it in mine!  I want to bring job opportunities into my district for my constituents, and I would love to offer my constituents the opportunities to pay low prices and receive the quality service WalMart provides – without having to pay a toll.

This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.