Monday, December 27, 2021

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz


Those that voted against the Hispanic Immigrant, Francisco Moya

 You should know that when I was young, I listened to a popular song, made famous by Ismael Quintana and The Eddie Palmieri Orchestra. Some of its lyrics said as follows: “Once upon a time Love and Interest challenged each other to a duel, but Interest won over Love.”  This scenario was apparent when four (4) Hispanic members from the Bronx, voted against their colleague a fellow Hispanic Immigrant Councilmember Francisco Moya and the City’s Hispanic leadership has remained silent.

It is important for you to know that Councilmembers Rafael Salamanca, Pierina Sanchez, Marjorie Velazquez, and Amanda Farias, all (4) voted against Francisco Moya, a well-qualified Ecuadorian, immigrant for the position of Speaker of the NYC Council.

Moya was defeated by Adrianne Adams, an African American from Queens.  Councilmember Adams won acquiring 33 votes out of 51 Councilmembers, including the 4 Hispanic members from the Bronx Salamanca, Sanchez, Velasquez, and Farias. 

You should also know that these same four councilmembers, ran for the City Council on the premise that they were worthy of the Hispanic vote because they are “Hispanic” and would better serve the needs of the Hispanic Community.  I imagine that when it comes to their re-election, they will return to us once again and say, “Vote for me because I, like you, am Hispanic and an immigrant.” Well, we shall see what the future holds!
It is also important that you know that Councilmember Pierina Sanchez, had zero name recognition when she ran against Yudelka Tapia, who is a well-known community leader and had served as a defender of our community for many years with much experience.  However, Pierina Sanchez managed to pull off a win with the blessing, support, and resources of Congressman Adriano Espaillat.  

Andriano Espaillat put his entire reputation, prestige, and resources behind Pierina Sanchez’s candidacy. However, the rumor or the “towns voices” say that Adriano had asked Pierina to do as his other disciples, like Oswald Feliz, Shawn Abreu, Chris Marte and Carmen Dela Rosa, did and to throw her support behind Moya. But the wagging tongues out there say that Pierina apparently has no memory of Espaillat’s support. Pierina apparently forgot that today she is a councilmember, thanks to the Congressman’s support. But apparently as the song says that her Interest was stronger than the Love she had. 

Moreover, when Assemblyman Marcos Crespo was President of the Bronx Democrat Party, and Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo resigned leaving her City Council seat vacant, Marcos Crespo threw his influence and all his support behind the candidacy of Rafael Salamanca to fill the City Council seat left vacant by Arroyo. Why? Because Salamanca is “Hispanic”. Marcos Crespo as the President of the Bronx Democrat Party was also instrumental in helping Salamanca acquire a position on one of the most influential committees in the City Council. But when Salamanca was needed to support a fellow Hispanic, he too apparently felt that his Interest was stronger than the Love he had.

When Marjorie Velasquez ran for the first time against the Albanian American Councilmember Mark Gjonaj, and then ran a second time against the African American candidate Monique Johnson, on both occasions Velasquez ran on the fact that she should be elected simply because she is “Hispanic” and that given the Hispanic demographics of the district this seat should be held by a Hispanic person. But when her support was needed for a fellow Hispanic, she too apparently felt that her Interest was stronger than the Love she had.

Lastly the Dominican American Councilmember Amanda Farias ran to fill the seat I left vacant when I decided not to seek a second term.  Farias pounded her chest proclaiming that she is a Hispanic Immigrant, and that it would serve our community right to support an Immigrant, and a Hispanic to the City Council.  Wow! Life gives us surprises! Here Ms. Farias was given the perfect opportunity to support a fellow Hispanic immigrant, but unfortunately, Ms. Farias like the song says felt that her “Interest was stronger than the Love she had.” 

The votes cast by these (4) Councilmembers against a fellow Hispanic and the silent kept by the city’s Hispanic leadership, all of this my dear reader, serves to confirm that old Latino cliché that says that “Once upon a time Interest and Love challenged each other to a duel and Interest won over Love.

This is soon to be Ex-Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz, and This Is What You Should Know.

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