Thursday, June 30, 2011

Daniel O'Donnell on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who represents the 69th AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.


"I've spent a lot of time attending a lot of hearings, and learned a lot about hydrofracking it's not safe here it's not safe anywhere. We need to stop it period. If the Governor would choose to go forward I would be very disappointed, and would use whatever political power I have to make that stop."

Ethics Reform

"It creates a new body which has the power to investigate legislators that's a very big deal."


"We have to honor class size one of the greatest disparities between the urban education systems and the non urban education systems is in fact the class size. The Mayor needs to do a better job at making sure that the education system works for all of our children not just some."

Rent Protection Laws

"The current bill doesn't go far enough, the current bill doesn't do enough, the current bill makes me very unsatisfied."

Independent Re-Districting

"People always claim that they want independent. I really want someone to help educate me as to what that is the New York City has independent re-districting on city council districts have you looked at the city council lines. If you looked at the lines in my district, the way the city council are, and tell me that those were done and the results were better than what happened in the previous process the answer to that question is a resounding no. The process is broken."

Marriage Equality

"In certain ways we almost had a perfect storm we had a Governor who is very popular, who was committed. Governor Paterson was as committed as Governor Cuomo was, but didn't have the political will, and the political popularity to pull it off. The second thing is we had the polling."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Posibles sustitutos de Anthony Weiner empiezan a alinearse - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Posibles sustitutos de Anthony Weiner empiezan a alinearse - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Ante la expectativa de una inminente renuncia por parte del congresista Anthony Weiner, los grupos políticos de Queens ya han comenzado mover las fichas para ubicar a sus ideales reemplazos. Si tuviera que apostar, diría que el favorito para recibir el apoyo del Partido Democrático de Queens es el concejal Mark Weprin.
La familia Weprin, que incluye al asambleísta David Weprin, tiene estrecha relación con el jefe demócrata de Queens, el congresista Joe Crowley.

To read the rest of this article, follow the link.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Así están las cosas en elección especial de Bushwick - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Así están las cosas en elección especial de Bushwick - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

La elección para llenar el puesto en la asamblea que dejó abierto Darryl Towns cuando se fue a trabajar para la administración de Cuomo podría ser fijada para el 13 de septiembre. Una fuente confiable me dijo que Cuomo anunciará la fecha a finales de mes.
Las fuerzas políticas en esta contienda por un pedazo del liderazgo de Brooklyn, comienzan a alinearse. Actualmente hay tres fuertes candidatos: el joven organizador comunitario Jesús González; el "chief of staff" del concejal Erik Dilan, Rafael Espinal y la hermana de Darryl Town (e hija del congresista del mismo apellido), Deidra Towns.

Follow the link, to read the rest of the story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jesus Gonzalez on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Jesus Gonzalez who is running for the New York State Assembly in the 54th AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

"I am the only candidate in the race that's actually from the community, and has a proven track record. I am known for taking on titans. There is a saying that says. Let's be realistic by doing the impossible. Many people think that it's impossible to win this race. I look forward to making my case to the people. By engaging many community members who historically have been left out of the electoral process. We just had hip-hop votes for Jesus Gonzalez got hundreds of people registered to vote in one day. So I look forward to broadening the base of people who vote and engaging that population. But I also look forward to making my case to voters who have the intelligence to know what a real option is, and to know who is really is on the side of the community. Which I believe and I know is me."


"I think there is a big difference between having opportunities and serving the community through patronage jobs and through getting this opportunity to run for state assembly based on your relationships. Only I am a proven leader throughout the district."

Community Needs

"Hands down it would be you know it's one of the poorest districts in NY state, so we need jobs and economic opportunity. We also need respectful policing in the community we need a safe community. I have been on both fronts I understand both sides of the argument. I have had a gun pulled on my face and I have also been harassed by police. We also need high quality education in the community."

Has he ever met with Assemblyman Vito Lopez

"No I haven't and I have been organizing this community for 13 years. Our elected officials many have been absent."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Andrew Friedman on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Andrew Friedman, who is the Co-Director of Make The Road NY. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

On forming a 501C4

"Make The Road NY formed a 501c4 last year called the Make The Road Action Fund, and it's really just about having more tools in the tool box to try and bring about change for folks low income, working class immigrant neighborhoods around the city."

On Rafael Espinal getting the Democratic Line

"We are not supportive of the process. We think backroom politics shouldn't make that decision. Democratic voters in the district should make that decision. But it is what it is it looks like he is going to get the line, and I think that our strategy is about bringing the message to the people. Working harder, knocking on more doors, hustling, and really letting folks know what Jesus is about, and what he has been doing and also letting them know what his opponents have been up to, and how they got where they are."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Charles Barron on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Councilman Charles Barron. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

On running for Congress

"Well its a good possibility that I going to run against Ed Towns. I did very well the first time. I got 15,000 votes to his 19,000 we could beat Towns no matter what. I am here for Jesus today. I am not here to connect with that. If that happens that happens, but my sole purpose for being here today is cause we have a great young leader, and I think we can turn things around here. I am going to whip Towns with or without Jesus. If I get in there I am going to beat him down. I think I can beat Towns, I think Towns is very do able. He's been around a long time he had 1.1 million a 24 year incumbent he had all of the preachers support him. I had no unions, no money 135,000 dollars. I had no elected officials. He had elected's, unions, preachers 1.1 million dollars 12 mailings. I did 1 mailing 135,000 dollars 38% to 46%. I am 8% points away, and if they didn't throw that little sell-out Roger Green in he got 6% I would have been a Congressman today so he is in trouble."

On Hakeem Jeffries running for Congress

"WHO? WHO? He is a possible candidate. I don't hear much about the guy. I am not worried about no Hakeem Jeffries. Hakeem Jeffries has no name recognition outside of his district. He is a go along get a long politician Vito Lopez lap-dog. He is no different than Towns in terms of his alliances with the county. So he will go along to get along. He did a few pieces of progressive legislation. We are not worried about Hakeem he would have to give up his seat to run."

Anthony Weiner

"Maybe Weiner will get a CNN spot with Eliot Spitzer, and they can co-host it, and have Bill Clinton as a guest. Because that's what happens with white men when they mess up, and become perverts they get rewarded."

William Boyland and Carl Krueger

"Boyland should be ashamed of himself. They think they can get away with stuff like that. Him and Krueger look like they are going down. I am not one who wants to gloat over anyone's misfortune, but you shouldn't go in there trying to act like them you better be principled, or else you are going down."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nydia Velazquez on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. Here are some quotes from the interview with the audio below.

On Jesus Gonzalez

"I am excited. I am thrilled this is a new beginning for Bushwick, Cypress Hills, East New York. Jesus is a very wonderful candidate a product of this community, and when people talk about community, and community empowerment he really embodies that. He went to school here he has been fighting for so many issues despite the fact that he is so young 26 years old. But it's amazing the kind of energy and commitment to do the right thing for our community."

On her decision to support Jesus over Deidra Towns

"Well this is an assembly district that deserve's to be represented by a Latino it's the majority population, and I believe that I love Ed Towns I worked for him. But this is about what is right is to get the best most qualified candidate who will have the heart and the commitment to fight for those issues that are important to our community. He represents the future, and we are tired of dynasties it's to give the right to the community to elect someone that is not connected to a family here to a family there or a particular party boss. This is about allowing the voters of this district to make their choice."

On Jesus not running on the Democratic line

"Well we are going to have the WFP and community support, labor and you know this is not going to be done until its done its going to be over the day of the primary, and I am telling you I assure you that gut feelings are telling me Jesus is going to be our next assemblyman."

Se busca congresista para reemplazar a Weiner - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Se busca congresista para reemplazar a Weiner - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

NUEVA YORK – La renuncia de ayer de Anthony Weiner a su banca en la Cámara de Representantes ha desatado una andanada de especulaciones y deseos, entre los que se barajan beneficiosos cambios para algunos líderes políticos latinos, de la misma forma que quedarían truncas las aspiraciones de que un hispano tome esa silla en Washington.
Roberto Pérez, analista político de Queens, dijo que las posibilidades de que Weiner sea reemplazado por un latino son muy bajas. “Se debe tener en cuenta la composición del Distrito 9 que en su mayoría es de anglosajones y muy pocos latinos”.

Follow the link to read the rest of the article.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ruben Diaz Jr. on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Here are some of the Borough President's views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and Marriage Equality

"I am responsible for what I do, and I know that many people approach Senator Diaz conversely about some of the positions that he disagrees with me on, and ultimatatley while he is my father, and I love him, and we obviously have an excellent relationship we disagree on many different issues so as I move forward I have always said I dont allow the Senator to tell me what to do as the Borough President, and I don't impose myself unless he has asked for some advice or I ask him for some advice on what he does in the Senate. The reality and just for a point of clarity in 2007 I voted against The Marriage Equality Act and it was the toughest vote that I have ever taken it's an issue that I struggle with everyday I have on one hand a father who has been so strong and has been a religious leader and not only in the Bronx and the city of New York but also in my family. But I also have a niece who is openly gay who has been extremely vocal, who is in love, who is raising a family with her partner. I have a Chief of Staff who is not just a Chief of Staff but is like a brother to me. I understand that when it is all said and done what they want and what I want for them for my niece and for my Chief of Staff is for them to have the same rights that Hilda and I have. I support Civil Unions. I have been with the LGBT community on every other issue. My father is going to have his positions and I respect him and everybody else in their political positions. It's time we take it down a notch that you lower the volume that you lower the temperature in terms of the rhetoric. I believe in the next couple of days this issue will be passed us and we will be able to move forward. I support Civil Unions."

Anthony Weiner

"When you are an elected official people view us and hold us in a certain regard and that's the life that we chose."

"He has to worry about serious things like his marriage. Like the fact that his wife is pregnant."

"He has a lot of healing to do."

Rent Protection Laws

"It's unfortunate the Republicans are using this issue because they want to have leverage on other issues of their concerns for instance the property tax cap and this is not something that they should be as a political ping pong or as a political game."

Kings Bridge Armory

"We are going to come up with a report over the next week or two. The overall recommendation is to show the city of New York that they should come up with a new RFP that there is interest, so stay tuned for that."

Hunts Point Produce Market

"You know that the Mayor and I don't always see eye to eye."

"We understand the value of the produce market."

"They signed an extension on their lease which ran out last month for an additional three years. We need for the produce market to stay."

Mark Gorton on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Mark Gorton who is the founder of Open Plans. He is passionate about the history of automobile-dominated urban planning in New York City. He focuses on examining the popular myths about street design and outlines his continuing involvement with these issues through OpenPlans, The New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign, Streetsblog, and Streetfilms. Below Mark's bio is the audio of the interview.

Mark Gorton has spent the past decade building a series of innovative financial and technology companies.

He is the founder of Tower Research Capital LLC, a money management firm specializing in quantitative trading and investment strategies, as well as the founder of Lime Brokerage LLC, Lime Wire LLC, and Lime Labs LLC.

Mark founded OpenPlans in 1999 after realizing the incredible potential of the open source movement to create tools that catalyze civic engagement. Mark is OpenPlans’s primary funder, and in his role as Chairman he draws on a strong background in urban transportation advocacy and open media.

Mark holds degrees from Yale, Stanford, and Harvard Business School.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Weiner-Gate causes more speculation State Senator Jose Peralta’s name has been thrown in the mix of possible candidates for Weiner’s seat. I asked Senator Peralta if there was any truth to the rumors, and he said “If an opportunity presented itself. I would definitely consider it.”

The word from an Albany insider is that State Senator Addabbo was the key cog in tipping the scale towards the passage of marriage equality “Addabbo is the first name on the roster once he votes yes it makes it all right for the other Democrats who voted no the last time to come on board. Once the Democrats walk in with 29 votes plus Republicans Alesi, and McDonald. The Republicans sitting on the fence see the writing on the wall, and come on board.” Now let's see if this becomes a reality. It looks like it is not a done deal just yet.

With the passage of an on time budget, ethics reform, marriage equality possibly, and a property tax-cap likely to be on the books has Governor Cuomo, secured his place as one of the greatest Governors in the history of the state? I asked State Senator Gustavo Rivera what he thought about Governor Cuomo’s record thus far, and he said “It is too early to talk about legacy. One thing I do know, is that there is a demonstrated level of leadership that has not existed before in any Governor. He is a strong Democratic Governor.” Senator Rivera also assured
me.”We will get Marriage Equality done.”

Velazquez May Gain From Weiner-Gate

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez may be one of the big winners as a result of “Weiner-Gate” because NY stands to lose two Congressional seats which will likely be one Republican seat, and one Democratic seat the word is that Weiner will be the Democratic sacrificial lamb. An insider who asked me not to use his name put it this way. “Velasquez’s District 12 has to grow by 45,349 people. If the number of districts in New York City remains the same and she wants to keep her current district lines and the Latino percentage she now has (44%), then where do the additional Latinos come from? The answer is Weiner’s District which is currently 17.2% Latino, and part of the North West part of his district is literally across the street from Velazquez district. Three other members of Congress are also vying for a piece of that pie Congress members Crowley, Ackerman, and Towns.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Deidra Towns on THE PEREZ NOTES

Here is the audio of Deidra Towns making her presentation to the New Kings Democrats. The club held it's endorsement meeting on Wednesday in Green-point. Here are some quotes from the presentation, and below the quotes is the audio.

"For a long time I really did not like politics, I kind of resented politics because my father was never home, and as I got older I found that I could not leave my house without somebody telling me how my father helped them, or how my brother helped them, and I realized that the sacrifice was totally worth it from a position of political power that you have an opportunity to really effectuate change, and help, and make people's lives better, and it is a fight."

"I understand how Albany works early in my political career I worked for a New York State Assemblyman as a legislative aide so I do have an understanding how legislation gets passed, and what is the process behind that with that understanding. I feel armed to really hit the ground running when I get to Albany."

"We have done a survey, and we have an idea of what the communities issues are, and what their needs are, and the main concern above anything else is jobs."

"The 54th district is the poorest district in the state if that's believable or not as one of the poorest districts instead of looking at it as an area of blight I like to look at it as an area for opportunity, this is an opportunity for development."

"The next economic expansion I believe is going to be driven by green industry, and I would like to bring those green industries into the 54th district. I don't see why we cant build solar panels in East New York."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lincoln Restler on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview, Brooklyn Democratic District Leader Lincoln Restler shortly after the New Kings Democrats endorsement meeting on Wednesday, and here is what he had to say. Below the quotes you will find the audio.

On the absence of Rafael Espinal

"I am very disappointed that Rafael did not think it was of value to join New Kings Democrats. It's hard not to take it as an indication that this is a guy who doesn't care about progressive values, about progressive politics about reform issues. I listened to him interviewed on your show Roberto, and he talked about graffiti is the issue he cares about, and that his agenda for Albany is to get as close to Shelly Silver as he possibly can those are quotes. This does not sound like a candidate who is serious about public office, and about being an effective representative for the 54th AD."

Jesus Gonzalez and Deidra Towns

"I thought that both Deidra, and Jesus gave strong presentations put forward competing visions for the district. Jesus is clear about bringing a fresh perspective new ideas, Deidra has a good understanding of the way things work."

The Race

"At the end of the day Espinal has a big advantage in having the Democratic party line, in an overwhelmingly Democratic district. We all know that one thing matters in local politics, and that's field. It's a low turnout district a very low turnout district."

Anthony Weiner

"I am just shocked that somebody who is so smart, and so savvy could act so stupidly it's a tragedy that he lied to all of us for so long. At the end of the day, I do believe that it's up to the voters in his district to determine whether he is fit to serve them. I think that Barney Frank is an important comparison at this time. Barney made some stupid mistakes 25 years ago, and has gone on to continue a distinguished career in the House. I am not sure that Anthony is in that category, but I think that he should be given that opportunity."

Friday, June 10, 2011


This is an interview I conducted with Congress member Ed Towns, right after the New Kings Democrats endorsement meeting. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio below.

District Leader Race

"The District Leader race was not a fair race. It was not an even playing field. The County chair (Vito Lopez) was able to appoint 11 people that would vote his way. Once I found out they had voting power, at that point I stopped the campaign. There is no way, I could go in the street, and pick 11 folks that are going to vote the way I want them to vote, and for it to be a real contest. It is like a man going to a track meet, and having one leg tied behind him. I want to make certain that the people knew
that the Democratic process did not prevail."

Jesus Gonzalez

"I really feel that he has a lot to learn. I just think that until he has a little more seasoning he is not quite ready for the Albany scene. They will chop him up, they will eat him up. If he continues to learn he has a tremendous future."


"I do plan to run for re-election."

Anthony Weiner

"I am disappointed, but Anthony is a very capable legislator, very skillful. I regret that he made this mistake. I am hoping that he can keep his family together, and be able to move past this because he is the voice that we need during this day, and age."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jesus Gonzalez on THE PEREZ NOTES

Here is the audio of Jesus Gonzalez making his presentation to the New Kings Democrats. The club held it's endorsement meeting on Wednesday in Green-point. Gonzalez has received the endorsement of the club. Here are some quotes from the presentation, and below the quotes is the audio.

"I was born, and raised in Bushwick my parents were both on welfare my mother sold Avon, and my father was the neighborhood ice-man. I have been a community organizer for 1/2 my life. For the last 13 years I have been an organizer with Make the Road NY, and I helped start the Youth Pride Project.

"We decided to approach Vito Lopez, and Senator Martin Dilan, and we were brushed off, and for me as soon as we tried to stick it to him (Martin Dilan) as young people. He got a little defensive, and said what do you want I am Puerto Rican, and for me as a young Puerto Rican looking at that type of leadership it kind of foreshadowed which direction we needed to go."

"No I am not a groomed politician for a long time I did not believe in the electoral process. I strayed away from it like most of our community."

"I have organized my peers around different community issues like education, police accountability, affordable housing, and had great success."

"Right now as we speak although my opponent is sitting right here I will blow up the spot. We have young people who have never voted knocking on doors right now. We have a zillion new voters on Hip-Hop votes for Jesus Gonzalez, and are knocking on doors right now."

"Some of you may look at me, and say it looks like he is wearing his father's suit, he looks like a young Latino from the hood, all of the above may be true. I look forward to bringing something new. I felt the thorns of not having hot water, and of being in over-crowded class rooms."

Espinal Boy-Cotts the New Kings Democrats

Rafael Espinal has decided to boycott the New Kings Democratic Club endorsement meeting being held tonight. It is no secret, that the New Kings are viewed as an anti Vito Lopez Democratic Club, and are allies of long time Lopez nemesis Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. I asked Espinal's Campaign Manager Michael Olmeda why? and he stated. "We thought one of the questions on the questionnaire the club sent out was prejudicial." The question Olmeda was referring to, is the last question in the New Kings Candidate Questionnaire which is, Has your campaign received support from the Kings County Democratic Party? If so, what?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jimmy Vacca on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who represents the 13th CD. Here are some of the Council members views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Living Wage

"I am not on the bill as a sponsor right now, it does not mean I am against it, it does mean I have concerns. In this city we use incentive to get private sector investment in neighborhoods that never would have seen private sector investment. On the other hand we are going to tell them we are imposing all these requirements on you. You are removing the incentives. How do we get development unless we encourage it. I don't want to see businesses leave for the suburbs. I am concerned that the Kings-Bridge armory is still empty."

The Advantage Program

"I am sure that will be part of our budget negotiations. I think the state has to look at this again. I am concerned."

"I see many pan handlers I think many of them need social service assistance. But I also think many are sometimes intimidating. I do think we still have a problem."


"We have not invested enough in mass transit short term, and long term. I think the MTA was foolish. The fares go up the tolls go up the service is still not what it should be."

Pot Holes

"We have moved beyond pot holes, we have moved to ruts, and wash board streets. The pot hole problem is out of control."

Teacher Lay Offs

"I do not want teacher lay offs, I am hoping that reasonable minds will prevail. These are draconian cuts."

School Closings

"We have to make sure that our children have equal opportunities. I am not convinced that closing public schools is the answer, when you close a public school you re-open it yet you must serve those same children. Why aren't public schools working. I just don't want to move the chairs on the Titanic. I don't expect the Chancellor to defy the Mayor."

Fire House Closings

"We are increasing response times. You raise the level of loss of life, and property loss. I want to decrease the likelihood of people losing their lives. I am determined to fight. I think public safety has got to be a priority."