Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Politics in Bushwick El Diario La Prensa

Politics in Bushwick

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-31-2011

The race in the 54th AD, is only the tip of the ice-berg, when it comes to the many wars left to be fought between Brooklyn Democratic Boss Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and his many enemies.

In 2013 two seats that make up parts of the 54th AD will be up for grabs, one is held by Erik Dilan CD 37, and the other by Diana Reyna CD 34, but for now lets focus on the 34th.

It is no secret that Councilwoman Diana Reyna who was once a Lopez protege, and is now his enemy would like nothing more than to pick her successor to spite Lopez. And to add to the melodrama not only are Lopez, and Reyna rivals but they are also neighbors, a good part of the 34th CD is in Lopez assembly district.

Lopez tried to eliminate Reyna in 2009, by running his ally District Leader Maritza Davila against Reyna. Davila lost in the primary by 2%. But the fight didnt end there, Lopez then proceeded to run Davila again in the general, and Davila secured 34% of the vote to Reyna’s 59%.

But to illustrate how much animosity Lopez has towards Reyna, he supported Davila on the WFP line over Reyna who had the Democratic Party line, and he is the chair of the Brooklyn Democratic party.

But 2013 looks like it’s going to be round 3 in this saga. So, here are the candidates being mentioned, and their affiliations. Lets start with whom many would consider the outsider Attorney Jason Otano, who works in the office of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Otano who recently moved into the district is already being attacked as a carpet bagger, by people in the Reyna camp.

From the Reyna camp the names being mentioned are her Chief of Staff Antonio Reynoso, and Esteban Duran who ran against Lopez for District Leader, and was recently involved in Jesus Gonzalez campaign in the 54th AD. Duran, and Reynoso are friends, so one would step aside for the other.

And lastly from the Lopez camp you have of course District Leader Maritza Davila, who ran a strong race against the incumbent the last time, and another person to look out for is Maria Viera who has ties to the Lopez funded Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council.

FYI My sources tell me that the Transport Workers Union Local 100 is going to endorse Jesus Gonzalez.

Politicas en Bushwick El Diario La Prensa

Politicas en Bushwick

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-31-2011

La carrera por el Distrito 54 de la Asamblea del Estado de Nueva York es sólo la punta del iceberg cuando se trata de las muchas guerras entre el jefe demócrata de Brooklyn, el asambleísta Vito López, y sus muchos enemigos.

En 2013, dos escaños que forman parte del Distrito 54 estarán en juego. Uno de ellos está en manos del concejal Erik Dilan (D.C. 37) y el otro lo tiene Diana Reyna (D.C. 34), pero por ahora nos centramos en este último.

No es ningún secreto que Reyna, quien en el pasado era la protegida de López pero ahora es su enemiga, le gustaría ser quien elija a su reemplazo. Para agregar al melodrama, los distritos de Lopez y Reyna se sobreponen.

En 2009, López trató de eliminar a Reyna apoyando la candidatura de su líder distrital Maritza Dávila en su contra en las primarias del partido demócrata. Aunque Dávila perdió en las primarias por un 2%, la contienda no terminó ahí. El asambleísta y líder demócrata de Brooklyn procedió a presentar a Dávila en la línea del partido de Familias Trabajadoras, en lugar de respaldar su candidatura en vez de la de Reyna que corría en el encasillado demócrata. Al final, Dávila obtuvo el 34% de los votos contra el 59% del sufragio que recibió Reyna.

Sin embargo, la tercera parte de esta saga parece que se extenderá al 2013. Pero quienes son los candidatos que se mencionan?

Primero el que muchos consideran un candidato ajeno a la politica del vecindario: el abogado Jason Otano, quien trabaja en la oficina del Presidente del Condado de Brooklyn Marty Markowitz. Otano, quien recientemente se mudó al distrito, ya está siendo acusado por aliados de Reyna de ser un explotador político.

Del lado de Reyna se mencionan su Jefe de Gabinete Antonio Reynoso, y Esteban Durán quien compitio en contra de López por el puesto de líder de distrito, y participó recientemente en la campaña de Jesús González por el Distrito de la Asamblea 54. Durán y Reynoso son amigos, por lo que podría moverse a un lado para darle el paso al otro.

Por último, de los aliados de López están la líder de distrito Maritza Dávila. Otra persona para tener en consideración es María Viera que tiene vínculos con el Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, una organización fundada por López.

Finalmente, mis fuentes me indican que el Sindicato Local 100 de los Trabajadores del Transporte va a apoyar a Jesús González.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kevin Wardally on THE PEREZ NOTES

This is an interview I conducted with Consultant Kevin Wardally on August 13, 2008. This interview is a part of THE PEREZ NOTES archives.

Kevin P. Wardally Senior VP for Political & Government Affairs Mr. Wardally leads the company's Political and Governmental Division and is a political professional with 13 years of expertise in voter contact, voter mobilization, base vote and grassroots organizing. Kevin joins BLA after working nine years at the New York City Council first as Deputy Director of Operations, then Director of Member Services and finally as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Speaker. Kevin has produced groundbreaking work during his extensive career including, in 2000, designing and implementing the largest voter contact program in the U.S. for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for U.S. Senate. As Senator Clinton's 2000 Base Vote Director, Kevin effectively worked to increase to record levels African-American voting on Election Day. Kevin's other work includes serving as Deputy Campaign Manager for the 2001 Peter Vallone for Mayor Campaign, Ferrer 2001 GOTV Director, and in 1998 he served as Base Vote Director for the Democratic efforts to elect U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. In 2004, Kevin served as the Democratic National Committee's New York Campaign Manager for the Democrat Response to the Republican National Convention which was at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Kevin earned a B.A. from Syracuse University and a M.A. from the University of Phoenix. He and his wife have a daughter and they live in Harlem.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

David Paterson on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview Governor David Paterson. Here are some of his views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

President Obama

"I don't think that Houdini could do a better job as President frankly, and I don't think Franklin Roosevelt would have us in any better position, and with all the blogs, and the movement of information I think that works counter intuitively to President Obama. Has President Obama contributed to his own problems? Yes he has."

"President Obama blinked in the debt ceiling contest. President Obama came out of it with nothing. He didn't get one dime in taxes, and he let the tea party appear to be running Washington, however, hopefully he will learn that sometimes you can't always be demure, you can't always be professorial you're gonna have to throw down with the Congress. But while he is learning that lesson, I am absolutely certain, he will be re-elected. I will mortgage my house on it. The reason is, the Republicans have no one to run against him."

Pay at Not For Profits

"I think at a time, when we have, such little money to give out to people they're must be scrupulous investigation to make sure that every dime that goes to not for profits is used in a legal, and in an ethical way, and so again I think the Governor has come up big."

"There are people who have they're relatives at the not for profits pay rolls, and that's got to stop right now, because the people, who need, where not for profits serve deserve it."

Wall Street

"Wall Street is to New York, what the grape growers are to California, what the automobiles are to Michigan, and what the oil means in Texas, so we should be defending the great resource that we have."

"The reality is, it needs to be regulated like everything else."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who is going to replace Assemblyman Jose Rivera? El Diario La Prensa

Who is going to replace Assemblyman Jose Rivera?

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-24-2011

There are rumblings, coming from the Bronx, that the race to replace Assemblyman Jose Rivera has already begun.

The problem is, that Rivera, who is famous, for speaking in riddles, and keeping things close to the vest, is not going anywhere, and apparently is not going to let anyone push him out either.

Despite, no one being sure, what Rivera’s future plans are. A list of names has begun to circulate.

The first name being mentioned is his son Councilman Joel Rivera who is term limited in the City Council, and would automatically become the favorite if he were to run. But the younger Rivera just got his real-estate license, and some think that may be a sign that he wants to try his hand in business, and may put politics on the shelf.

If the younger Rivera takes a pass. That will open the doors for the person most likely to receive the Bronx Democratic Parties blessings the Executive Director of the party Ischia Bravo. Who I hear can already count on the support of Councilman Fernando Cabrera if the seat becomes available.

The other candidates being mentioned are State Committeeman Ricky Martinez, Attorney Sergio Villaverde who ran against Rivera in 2010, and got 24% of the vote, and Community Activist Miguel Santana who ran for the council seat, currently held by Cabrera, and can already count on some institutional support, being that Assemblyman Nelson Castro said he would support him for District Leader out of respect for Assemblyman Rivera who has not made his intentions known.

One person whose name was mentioned and was not happy to hear the rumors was Attorney, and Rivera ally Ululy Martinez.”The fact that people are even talking about the seat is an insult to the man. I think he is an invaluable resource, who brings a wealth of experience to the legislative process.”

Rivera who is as experienced, and as wily as they come will definitely have a say when the time comes in picking his successor. He could just as easily win re-election, re-sign, and use his clout to cherry pick his heir apparent, so stay tuned.

¿Quién reemplazará al asambleísta José Rivera? El Diario La Prensa

¿Quién reemplazará al asambleísta José Rivera?

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-24-2011

Desde El Bronx ya salen rumores de que la contienda para reemplazar al asambleísta José Rivera ya ha comenzado. El asunto es que Rivera, quien tiene unos 70 y pico de anos, no parece querer ir para ningun lado bien –y aparentemente tampoco dejará que nadie lo saque de su puesto tan fácilmente.

Pero aunque los planes de Rivera no parecen estar claros para nadie, ya una lista de interesados en el puesto ha comenzado a circular.

Uno de los posibles sucesores más mencionados es el de su hijo, el concejal Joel Rivera, quien al terminar su período en el Concejo en 2013 automáticamente se convierte en el favorito para reemplazar a su padre. Pero el joven Rivera acaba de recibir su licencia en inmobiliaria, y algunos creen que esto puede ser una señal de que él quiera dejar la política a un lado y dedicarse a los negocios.

Si Joel Rivera decide pasar, le abriría las puertas a quien muy probablemente recibirá la bendición del partido democrático del Bronx: la directora ejecutiva del partido, Ischia Bravo, quien, he escuchado, ya cuenta con el apoyo del concejal Fernando Cabrera, si el puesto está disponible.

Entre otros potenciales candidatos mencionados están el miembro del comité del estado Ricky Martínez; el abogado Sergio Villaverde, quien corrió en contra de Rivera en 2010 y recibió el 24% de los votos; también el activista comunitario Miguel Santana quien se postuló por el puesto de concejal que ganó Cabrera. Santana ya cuenta con cierto apoyo, dado que el asambleísta Nelson Castro dijo que lo apoyaría para liderar el distrito.

Otro nombre que corre por los pasillos es el del aliado de Rivera, Ululy Martínez, aunque éste no está muy feliz con los rumores. “El hecho de que la gente ya esté hablando incluso sobre el puesto es un insulto para el hombre. Yo creo que él es un recurso inestimable, que brinda una riqueza y experiencia al proceso legislativo”, me dijo Martínez.

Claro que aún es temprano y que Rivera tiene la astucia para influir quien tomará su puesto. De hecho, por lo que sabemos de la política en El Bronx, el jefe Rivera puede fácilmente o ganar la re-elección o usar sus influencias para escoger a su heredero. Estén atentos.

Seny Taveras on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview DAP Strategies Attorney/Consultant Seny Taveras. Here are some of her views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Parole Board Appointment

"I went through the senate hearings they were great, then went to finance. The decision was really a political decision. Someone who as you know (Carl Kruger) now has been indicted, and is going through a criminal procedure Senator Kruger was the person who actually said no. I don't understand why, I think it was a political decision it had nothing to do with the process, and you know what I am o.k with that. But it is just ironic that someone with that background is telling me that I can't be on the parole board."

"But it just didn't happen because unfortunately the political rhetoric, got in the middle of that, that's how I see it."

Governor Paterson

"It was not the media against the Governor many forces hidden forces. No, he did not get credit for a lot of the great things that he did."

"He looks out for people, that have no other avenue."

"In terms of the budget, everything he predicted. He was the first person who came out, and said you know what! we have a recession, and people did not want to hear that, and no one wanted to take those hits. But guess what, that same budget that he proposed was passed this year. He started those negotiations. He laid the ground work for what we have today."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Latino to replace Weiner after all El Diario La Prensa

A Latino to replace Weiner after all.

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-3-2011

In an interesting development in the race in the 54th AD. Labor Union SEIU 32BJ endorsed Rafael Espinal over Jesus Gonzalez who is running on the Working Families Party Line in the election.

32BJ broke ranks with the WFP, and the reason why according to my sources is because of an old allegiance between 32BJ Political Director Alison Hirsh and Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Assembly Vito Lopez who is backing Espinal. The connection between the two power brokers, lies in the fact that Hirsh once served as Lopez Chief of Staff, so that explains why 32BJ would be inclined to back Espinal over Gonzalez.

In a race that will likely have low voter turn-out. Labor Union endorsements are crucial, because unions provide the foot soldiers that help in a campaigns get out the vote operations. So in order to neutralize the political support that 32BJ will provide Espinal. The Gonzalez camp is banking on an endorsement from 1199 SEIU in the very near future.

Every one involved in politics recognizes that 1199 like 32BJ has a political operation that is second to none. The only hang up would be that if 1199 SEIU goes with Gonzalez it will be betraying one of it’s members Rafael Espinals mother.

Latino Candidate in the 9th CD.

There is a Latino running for Congress in the 9th CD, and it’s not Republican Juan Reyes it is. Assemblyman David Weprin whose mother is from CUBA. She immigrated to the US when she was 8 years old. In an interview with the Assemblyman’s brother Councilman Mark Weprin he talked about some of the struggles their mother had to overcome as a newly arrived immigrant.”My mom came here when she was 8 years old didn't speak a word of English, it was very tough for her. She got picked on a lot, she stood up a lot. She beat up a couple of guys over it. She is a tough lady my mom.”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Latino senatorial district in Long Island? El Diario La Prensa

A Latino senatorial district in Long Island?
| 08/10/2011 | El Diario NY

Roberto Perez

One of the many things that the 2010 census has brought to light is the explosion of the Latino population in Long Island for example in Nassau County Latinos now make up 14.6% of the population in Suffolk County they make up 16.5% of the population. These numbers are going to prove pivotal in the discussions around re-districting.

According to sources involved directly in the debate. The numbers currently support the creation of a Latino State Senate seat. In order for that to become a reality. Here is how the puzzle would have to be put together.

The new district would include parts of Republican State Senator Kemp Hannons SD6 which is 17.9% Latino, and includes areas like Hempstead and parts of Republican State Senator Jack Martins SD7 which is 13.8% Latino and includes areas like Westbury, the district would also be drawn to include the entire assembly district of Assemblyman Phil Ramos which is 56.5% Latino and includes areas like Brentwood.

Rivera Vs. Diaz

The feud between Assemblyman Peter Rivera, and Senator Ruben Diaz continues. The word is that Attorney Luis Sepulveda who is an ally of Senator Diaz and who got 44% of the vote against Rivera when he ran against him 2010 is gearing up for another race.

Leaders in the Latino community are concerned that if Rivera loses to Sepulveda it could hurt Latinos by virtue of that fact that Rivera as Speaker Pro Tempore in the State Assembly, and is one of the highest ranking Latinos in the state, and the Latino community as whole could lose if Rivera is defeated.

I spoke to Rivera’s Chief of Staff Daniel Figueroa, and here is what he had to say. “Every year we supported the Reverend, and carried his petitions, and then in 2010 he turns around and runs Sepulveda against us. We even sided with the Reverend in the battle for control of the party. We said we would support Jose Rivera for control of the party, but that we would continue to support the Reverend.”

One of the casualties in this war was former District Leader Ken Padilla who was viewed as a Rivera ally, and was dethroned by Reverend Diaz. But I am hearing that Rivera plans to fight fire with fire, and will not be caught flat footed, and that Figueroa is preparing to challenge the Reverend for his District Leader seat, and avenge Padilla’s loss.

Political drama before Dominican Parade El Diario La Prensa

Opinion: Political drama before Dominican Parade

On Sunday it rained on and off the Dominican Parade breakfast in the restaurant Mama Juana in Northern Manhattan.

Roberto Perez | 17/08/2011 | El Diario NY

There was plenty of rain inside and outside, the breakfast to celebrate the Dominican Day Parade in Northern Manhattan's MamaJuana Restaurant. The first to get hit by lightning was Governor Cuomo who spoke about his support of the Dominican Community dating back to his days as HUD Secretary under President Bill Clinton, and assured everyone in the room that Dominicans should expect an even stronger relationship now that he is in the Governor’s mansion.

Shortly, after the Governor spoke, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares quickly rained on his parade, by reminding the Governor that the Outer Borough Medallion Bill is still sitting on his desk, and that he should sign this important piece of legislation. There was a quick round of applause in the room in support of what Assemblyman Linares said.

I do not want to put words in Assemblyman Linares mouth, but the way I, and others in the room interpreted this, was as follows, if you really want to show the Dominican Community that you support it why don’t you start by signing this bill.

Espaillat vs. Jackson

There was another storm in the room, that was precipitated by the exit of Councilman Robert Jackson, who was no where to be found when he was called to the micro phone to speak by State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

Someone in the Espaillat camp saw the exit as a slight to Senator Espaillat who was the host, and MC of the event. Another source, tells me the reason why Jackson left was because of the water main break in Harlem.

This beef between Jackson, and Espaillat goes back to Jackson’s decision not to endorse Espaillat for the Senate seat he currently holds. Jackson instead endorsed Espaillat’s opponent Mark Levine. The battle then escalated over the Columbia University Sports Center expansion where Jackson accused Senator Espaillat, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of spreading rumors that he was anti Dominican.

Now Mark Levine is positioning himself as Jackson’s replacement in the City Council, as Jackson prepares himself to run for Manhattan Borough President. Espaillat apparently has other plans for the council seat, and has said publicly that he is going to back long time District Leader Maria Luna.

I also hear, that in addition to running for the City Council Mark Levine who is also a District Leader met with Espaillat to seek his support for a State Senate run in case Espaillat decides to run for Congress, so that he could position himself as his replacement.

A person close to Espaillat said his response to this request was. “This guy must be

Austin Shafran on THE PEREZ NOTES

This is an interview I conducted with Democratic spokesperson Austin Shafran on January 28,2009. This interview is a part of THE PEREZ NOTES archives

Rosie Mendez on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, who represents the 2nd CD. Here are some of the Council members views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.


"I am not happy with the educational system. I was never in favor of Mayoral control, though two years ago I was willing to give it a chance, under a different Mayor, my candidate didn't win, and I am done with Mayoral control, so I would like to see a different system set up."

"We need to start talking to our state legislators to change mayoral control."

Public Housing

"The New York City Housing Authority pays the police department 73 million dollars, for so called special police services. We have been raising that issue for a while there is a memorandum of understanding so the money has to get paid, and this really has to be undone, or renegotiated because no other land lord pays for police services."

"There is no special police services that's been identified to me particularly, as someone who grew up in public housing. There is no special police services that 73 million dollars should be going back into public housing to take care of the repairs, and to create a real security system that doesn't exist right now."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Opinión: Los tras bastidores políticos del desfile dominicano - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Opinión: Los tras bastidores políticos del desfile dominicano - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Roberto Perez

El domingo llovió fuera y dentro del desayuno del Desfile Dominicano, en el restaurante Mama Juana del Alto Manhattan. El primer chaparrón le cayó al Gobernador Cuomo quien vio sus palabras de apoyo a la comunidad dominicana empaparse ante la sugerente crítica del asambleísta Guillermo Linares – quien en muchas palabras le dijo que si realmente apoyaba a los dominicanos debía finalmente firmar el proyecto de ley que permitiría a los taxistas no amarillos recoger pasajeros en los condados. La atrevida intervención de Linares fue recibida con una ronda de aplausos.

To read the rest of the story, please follow the link.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The Brooklyn Politics Podcast
Episode: 5
Roberto Perez

I was invited on THE BROOKLYN POLITICS Pod Cast to discuss the race in the 54th AD. To listen to the discussion, between myself, Colin Campbell, and Nick Rizzo please follow the link.

The fifth episode of The Brooklyn Politics Podcast is with Roberto Perez, a reporter who has been doing top notch political interviews on his blog, The Perez Notes in addition to writing for El Diario.

Nick Rizzo and I (supported by our producer Mike Dougherty) interviewed Roberto about the September 13th special election in the 54th Assembly District, which features a fascinating three-way race with plenty of political intrigue.

As Roberto has not only interviewed all three of the candidates, but also the larger cast of almost every major political player in this race, he’s definitely worth listening to!

So, as always, take a listen and enjoy:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Brad Lander on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Councilman Brad Lander, who represents the 39th CD. Here are some of the Council members views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Rent Protection Laws

"The holes the loop holes that have been opened up have cost us. Hundreds of thousands of affordable units over the last decade, and they're almost all still there, and so we know today that we will lose hundreds of thousands of rent stabilized units over next decade because the loop holes are still there, and this was our chance to close them, and preserve hundreds of thousands of units of rent stabilized housing, and we didn't do it, and I remain real disappointed by that."

Congestion Pricing

"I am a supporter of congestion pricing which I know is not popular every where, but I guess what I would say you know the vast majority of people in this city use the subway system use the buses need it to get around, and we've got to find a way to keep that system strong, and if we let it fall out of a state of good repair it will be very very hard to get back, we have seen that before. We can't afford to see that again. I think it's reasonable that part of the financing of that system come from car tolls."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who represents the 22nd AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.


"Flushing is the 3rd busiest intersection of all of NYC, third after only Port Authority, and Times Square, and that Herald Square area. So, we really need improvement here."

"Transportation, and the MTA and these different authorities just seem to have the worst sort of timing, when it comes down to raising whether it's the tolls, or the fares they really always try to do it at the worst times. People are literally struggling to make ends meet right now, and to talk about is something that people simply don't want to hear in good times, or bad, but I think what people really want to hear is what they're doing with the money. I think people if they felt that service was improving, and that everything was more efficient they wouldn't mind as much if fares, and tolls went up. That's simply not the case right now."

Rush Limbaugh

"My entire lifetime, I've never seen, or felt such anti immigrant, anti Asian if you will sentiment. Now whatever the issues are internationally dealing with the country of China. I think you know, in terms of the Rush Limbaugh comments, or mockery there are certain countries where if their heads of state came to the United States there is no way that a national radio personality would make fun of them not to name certain countries, but why is it ok when the head of an Asian country comes to the United States, and a country regardless of how you feel is important to the economy of America it's not right that we fun of someone."

"Now people accuse me of being communist, people accuse me of liking and supporting the President of China at the time. I am loyal to the United States, and to our President. I don't care what anyone say's about the President of China, but say it in English. Don't say it in a way that sounds like his language cause that's totally racist."

Pay at not for profits

"If the Executive Director is making 200,000 dollars a year then you don't need my 1,000 dollars. That's just my point of view."

Outer Borough Medallions

"I think like the process that the bill came about. We got the bill, and passed it all within a week. It was just very strange, and un democratic."

¿Un distrito senatorial latino en Long Island? - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

¿Un distrito senatorial latino en Long Island? - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York -

Roberto Perez

Una de las muchas cosas que el Censo de 2010 ha traído a la luz es el de la explosión de la población latina en Long Island. En Nassau County, por ejemplo, los latinos ahora son 14.6% de la población y en Suffolk County un 16.5%. Tal presencia será crítica en las discusiones sobre la redistribución de distritos. Según fuentes involucradas en este debate, la actual demografía se presta para crear un ‘asiento latino’ en el senado estatal.

To read the rest of this column, please follow the link.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Robert Polner on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity to interview Robert Polner, who is the co-author of "The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975," We discussed Governor Carey's life, and his many conversations with the Governor, prior to writing the book. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

"Hugh Carey could be loquacious, and he was a great story teller you would ask him a question at the beginning of the interview, and three hours later, after he took you on an adventure all the way through his life, and the political times, and great funny stories you might would have forgotten the question, as the interviewer, but he didn't forget he had a steel trap mind."

"When you look back they're really hadn't been a lot written about him as being the guy who was really the main person in bringing together Republicans and Democrats, the biggest bankers of their day. People like Walter Wriston of Citibank the biggest labor leaders of their day here in New York bringing them together upstate, downstate you know how that division can be, so polarized, and ultimately his old friend, and former colleague from his congressional days Gerald Ford who was the accidental President."

"That was the other thing about Hugh Carey. He would bring in talented people to surround himself with, who knew their particular issues better than he did. He was not an insecure guy. He was a very confident person, and I think that's rare. He brought in very talented people and let them do their thing."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kevin Parker on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Senator Kevin Parker, who represents the 21st SD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

Jay Walder leaving the MTA

"Let's be very clear. He was selected, to bring congestion pricing here. When it looked like Governor Cuomo was not going to go for that, there was no reason for him to stay. That's point blank period. I am just giving it to you, straight no chaser. But I did not have any problem with his work here. He was always very responsive."

Salaries at non-profits

"There ought to be equal pay, for equal work."

Outer Borough Medallions

"If I could read Andrew Cuomo's mind, I would quit the Senate tomorrow, and I would make a lot of money in consulting. So, I have no idea what the Governor's frankly is thinking, however, we passed the bill, I don't think it was the perfect bill, but I think it was good enough to get the job done at this point."

Democratic State Senate Majority

"In 2012 the Democrats will absolutely take back control of the majority in the New York state senate. I say that without fair contradiction the numbers are just with us."

Has he been treated fairly by the press?

"No I definitely don't think I have gotten a fair shake. There is a lot of people, that don't like my point of view about things."

"When we took over the Senate, this is the first time, that African Americans and Latinos, have been in charge, of a legislative body ever, and so part of what you see in terms of the disagreements, is that our greatest strength in the Democratic party is our greatest weakness. In other words we look like NY we look like America."

"People would like to create this narrative about me being violent, and out of control, because it serves to be able to marginalize my voice and marginalize my pain."

"People do not want me to talk about women and business development, because there are rich white men, who have been getting 98% of the contracts in the state, or 20 to 25 billion every year, and they don't want to have to only take 80% of that money."

"I am never going to sit down, and be quiet when injustice is happening."

"I have been mis-defined by the media. I invite people to look at the transcript from my last trial where I was acquitted of the vast majority of the charges."

Marriage Equality Vote

"They didn't want us to speak, because they wanted to end debate early, so that the Governor could make the 11 o'clock news. I really don't have a problem with that, but then you need to cut that deal ahead of time, and I don't work for the Governor with all due respect to the Governor. I don't work for him, and he doesn't run the Senate."

"The biggest mistake we made was that we didn't stand up for Reverend Diaz. Even though we disagreed with what he had to say."

On running for Brooklyn Borough President

"50/50 those are decent odds. Always put your money on black."

Herman Denny Farrell on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Assemblyman Herman Denny Farrell, who represents the 71st AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

Young Men Initiative

"Well I think that any money that we can get into the community, is to make sure that people of color, get a mentality where they understand, that they cant do anything if they don't get to college."

"We can also point out the question that was asked this morning which was on the radio show. Which was are the cuts that he has made in the budget more damaging to the same group of people than the money he is putting in now. I am not opposing him putting in the money, but he could have put it directly by not cutting as many programs as he did."

"If we don't solve the education problem then we are really in trouble."

Outer Borough Medallions

It's very complicated bill there is a lot of concern by many people, so I think he (Governor Cuomo) is probably going to wait a while before he makes his decision." at

Salaries at non-profits

"If people do their job, they are entitled to whatever the salary is going to be."


The issue is not about re-election it is about equalization of population. The reason we do, what we do, is because people move, buildings go up, buildings come down."


"Now it's five years later, and he (Mayor Bloomberg) hasn't accomplished nothing, and all of a sudden he goes holy hell what am I going to do. Meanwhile, somebody gets this idea we are going to start charter schools, so what happens is he immediately says to the people when the parents are screaming at him put your kids in the charter schools."

"The bottom line of all this is class size."

"But because, the Mayor has failed we have charter schools."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Aravella Simotas on THE PEREZ NOTES

I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who represents the 36th AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.


"We have to make sure that the MTA is responsible with how they spend their money. We have to make sure that the top executives are not making obscene salaries, and that they should be compensated the same way that everyone thinks teachers should be compensated based on merit. If they are doing a good job, managing their house, then fine let them be paid. But they should not be taking money away from the workers, and money away from vital services for communities like this in order to basically feed these large salaries."

Outer Borough Medallions

"I think the issue might be an issue of whether, or not it's constitutional, how it was done with respect to taking away the value of somebody's medallion. I know that there has been a lot of debate whether this legislation has hurt the value of medallions, but I think that it's a difficult legal issue that we are dealing with."

"We need to expand services."

"It was not done the normal way which was through the City Council. We didn't do home rule, and that's another legal issue."

"From my experience in viewing what the Governor does, he does every thing very methodically, and he does not want to sign a bill into law that can have constitutional challenges."

Con Edison

"You know Con Edison is a business, and it will try to turn a profit at my constituents expenses. I made it abundantly clear to them that I lived through the black out as well. I remember that many of our businesses are no longer here because they lost everything, and Con Edison was only reimbursing them 7,000 dollars, and that was unacceptable."

"Last week I remember when there was a spike in the temperature we were getting constant updates that there was going to be a spike, that there were going to be some black outs in certain neighborhoods, so it seems as though Con Edison is a little bit more sensitive to the issue, at least giving communities a heads up. But they have a long way to go in order to operate in a way that puts the consumer first."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Un Latino para reemplazar a Weiner, despues de todo El Diario La Prensa

Un latino para reemplazar a Weiner, después de todo

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 8-3-2011

Parece que el deseo de algunos líderes hispanos de que un hispano reemplace al caído Anthony Weiner en el congreso, puede hacerse realidad. Y no me refiero al republicano Juan Reyes. Resulta que la madre del asambleísta David Weprin, el candidato elegido por el partido demócrata para el cargo, es una inmigrante cubana. En una entrevista, el hermano del asambleísta, el concejal Mark Weprin, dijo: “Mi madre vino acá cuando tenía 8 años de edad y no sabía ni una palabra en ingles, fue muy difícil para ella. La molestaban mucho, pero se levantó muchas veces. Tuvo que golpear a un par de hombres. Mi madre es una mujer dura”.

Sindicatos calientan contienda en Bushwick

La contienda en el Distrito 54 de Brooklyn sigue y se enciende. El sindicato de los trabajadores de limpieza y mantenimiento de edificios, SEIU 32BJ, decidió respaldar a Rafael Espinal en lugar de a su contricante Jesús González, quien logró el espaldarazo del Partido de las Familias Trabajadoras (WFP).

Lo que es curioso aquí es esta contienda electoral rompe los tradicionales lazos entre la 32BJ y el WFP, las cuales tienden a alinearse en sus endosos. Según mis fuentes, la razón de esta división es una vieja lealtad entre la directora de política de 32BJ Alison Hirsh y el demócrata de Brooklyn y jefe de la asamblea estatal Vito López, quien respalda a Espinal. Hirsh se desempeño una vez como jefa de personal de López.

En una poco publicitada contienda que probablemente sufrirá de alta abstención, los ‘endosos’ de la unión de trabajadores es crucial, porque las uniones proveen los soldados que ayudan en la campañas a buscar y sacar votantes. Por eso, para neutralizar el apoyo político que 32BJ le va a dar a Espinal, la campaña de González está buscando furiosamente el respaldo del sindicato 1199 SEIU.

Todo aquel que esté involucrado en política local reconocería que tanto la 1199 como la 32BJ tienen una operación política inigualable.

Un factor que podría parar el apoyo de 1199 a González es el hecho de que al hacer esto podría estar traicionando a uno de sus miembros: la madre de Espinal, quien es parte de esa unión.