Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Possible challenges for Viverito if she runs for Speaker El Diario La Prensa


Possible challenges for Viverito if she runs for Speaker

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 10-26-2011

2013 may seem, like it’s in the distant future, but according to my sources, that has not stopped, Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, from putting out feelers to Latino political power brokers, and labor unions, to see what type of support, she would receive, if she decided to make a push, to be the first Hispanic, or person of color, to be Speaker of the City Council.

Viverito, made quite a number of appearances with current Speaker, and 2013 Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn promoting the bill, that would limit the deportations of immigrant inmates in Rikers Island, and many insiders, viewed this as a sign that Viverito was trying to gain Quinn’s support, in her quest to become the next Speaker, and that Quinn in return, was using Viverito to curry favor with the Hispanic electorate.

But even if, Viverito manages to get the support of the current Speaker, getting the post is going to be a heavy lift for her, because rumors are, that Councilwoman Inez Dickens is also interested in the position.

I asked an operative what he thought of Viverito’s, chances, and here’s what he had to say. Two women of color, from the same borough, who both represent Harlem, if Dickens, and Viverito run they cancel each other out.

Another obstacle, that Viverito must overcome, is her role as co-chair of the Councils Progressive Caucus. Viverito has been very vocal, in her support of a living wage, and paid sick leave, these positions are anathema, to the business community, who for the most part, view anyone to left of the political spectrum, as a radical, or as someone who is anti-business, so chances are, they will lobby aggressively against Viverito, if she decides to run.

Last, but not least, I would be re missed, if I did not mention the role that County leaders play in picking the Speaker, and Former NY, and Manhattan Democratic Party Boss Assemblyman Denny Farrell, has been publicly calling Dickens the next speaker. Which could mean, that the Harlem establishment is lining up behind Dickens, which could spell trouble for Viverito. Stay tuned.

Retos en posible carrera de Viverito para Speaker El Diario La Prensa


Retos en posible carrera de Viverito para ‘speaker’

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 10-26-2011

El año 2013 puede sonar lejos para los laicos de la política, pero no es para la concejal Melissa Mark Viverito quien dicen que ya está tocando puertas y tanteando las cosas para una posible apuesta a ser la primera latina en ganar la presidencia del Concejo Municipal. Ella es hasta ahora el único hispano mencionado para el puesto, en una contienda que promete ser competida.

Últimamente a Viverito se le ha visto muy cerca de la actual presidenta del Concejo Christine Quinn –cuyo término termina en 2013 y quien posiblemente se lance a alcalde— promoviendo proyectos de ley. Muchos ven esto como una señal de que Viverito trata de ganar el apoyo de Quinn; ésta en cambio estaría usando a Viverito para ensalzar su relación con el electorado hispano.

Pero incluso si Viverito lograra el apoyo de Quinn, obtener la poderosa posición va a ser difícil porque, dicen por ahí, otra funcionaria de Manhattan, la concejal Inez Dickens también parece interesada en la posición.

Consultado sobre una posible postulación de Viverito, un operador político apunta: Siendo Viverito y Dickens, dos mujeres de color, del mismo condado, que representan a Harlem, si se lanzan las dos podrían anularse mutuamente.

Además, agrega mi fuente, en su rol como co-presidenta del Caucus Progresista del Concejo, Viverito ha expresado posiciones consideradas anti-empresa, como la idea de establecer un salario mínimo más alto en la ciudad, y exigir que las empresas paguen días enfermedad pagados a trabajadores que actualmente no reciben el beneficio. Por lo general, los empresarios ven a cualquiera en el lado izquierdo del espectro político como radicales anti-negocios, así que es muy posible que estos se opongan a una posible candidatura de Viverito si decidiera lanzarse a este cargo.

Por último, pero no por eso menos importante, está el rol que los líderes de condado juegan en la selección del jefe del Concejo, y el ex jefe del partido demócrata del estado y de Manhattan, el asambleísta Denny Farrell, ha expresado públicamente su apoyo a Dickens. Lo cual significaría que el establecimiento político de Harlem se está alineando detrás de Dickens, algo que definitivamente representará un problema para Viverito. Manténgase en sintonía que esto se pone interesante.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maria Teresa Feliciano on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity, to interview, Dominican American National Round-table President Maria Teresa Feliciano. Here are some quotes, from the interview, with the audio included below.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

"We have plenty of population, to do it in district 14, it happens to be that district 14 right now, is represented by Carolyn Maloney. Demographics fall there, and she just happens to be the Congresswoman for that district, but district 14 as we're proposing it, will encompass the populations, the communities of Washington Heights, and West Bronx.

"We met with her Chief of Staff. I think her reaction which would be the Congresswoman's reaction in response, was to be expected absolutely, you know she had reasons as to why, we shouldn't convert, and I quote congressional district 14 into an all Latino, and her reasons, were literally the same reasons, that representatives of the Congresswoman outlined 2 days before that, at the hearing in Manhattan. The reasons are, there are many projects costing millions of dollars in progress, and in process of being completed, in that district, that have to do with transportation, hospitals, but mainly with transportation. That the Congresswoman has initiated, and she is very interested in, and changing her would change all of that. You know, she cited how that constituency, in district 14 is overwhelmingly white sharing interests such as, the diamond district, the museum row, hospitals, and parks. That the community, has absolutely nothing in common with it's neighbor a little bit up north in Washington Heights."

Congressman Rangel

"He supports our effort."

"We believe seriously that, that congressional seat, should be kept by African-Americans."

DANR Conference Boy-Cott

"I don't think that, that happened. I do not believe, that there is such a boy-cott, and much less, as you yourself said in your article, and others that Senator Espaillat had anything to do with that. As you know, Senator Espaillat is one of the founders of the Round-table, and for the past 14 years, has been a continuous, and solid supporter of the organization. I don't think at all, he would engage in such a thing."

National Voter Registration Drive

"The objective of registering 300,000 Dominicans, by the presidential elections of 2012. Dominicans are 2 million in the U.S, registering 300,000 new ones is a small portion of that number."

Assemblyman Keith Wright

"He supports that objective of ours, including saying it's about time. I think it's time, for Latinos, specifically Dominicans, to have representation at this level."

Assemblyman Carl Heastie

"He expressed total support, and not only for the concept of Latino representation, at this level, Dominican representation, but all the maps that we were presenting. He came to the conference, and publicly expressed his support, for this idea, for our right to be represented, he was very vocal, he was committed to doing anything in his power, to insure that this happens, and to work with us, and representation not only at the congressional level, but also at other levels."

This interview, was conducted on 10-19-2011 at 4pm.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Peter Vallone Jr. on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who represents the 22nd CD. Here are some of the Council members views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

NYPD

"There is a fine line, and nobody walks that fine line better than the NYPD. We have more protest here in the city than anywhere in the world. The vast majority of them go off without a hitch. That's because of the NYPD."

Occupy Wall Street

"What concerns me down on Wall Street is the costs, we probably spent close to 5 million dollars already, and it's been just about a month, the entire new class coming in to the NYPD in January, could be in jeopardy, because there are new cuts that the Mayor has asked for from the police department, and Ray Kelly testified at my hearing about two weeks ago that, that is now jeopardy."

"We need at least 900 officers just to stay where we are now, and we are now is a ridiculously low level. We've had 41,000 cops that's what we had September 11th. Now we've got between 34 and 35 thousand cops, and if we don't have this 900 coming into the force, we'll be down even lower than that, down to levels we haven't seen since the early 90's, when the crime was running rampant. We can't have that."

"We cannot continue to cut our police force. We've really got to look at the costs of what Wall Street is costing us right now, and the elected officials who are supporting this, better come up with a way to pay for it, that doesn't result in not having a police class."

"What their positions are appear to depend on who gets the microphone on any given day, so it's tough to know what the positions are. I heard some positions which I completely agree with, like opposing corporate bailouts. I didn't support those from day one."

"Most of them are anti-capitalist which doesn't get a lot of press. There's a lot of antisemitic people which does not get a lot of press. The answer isn't to tax more, and spend more. The answer, I believe is less government, and less taxation. That will increase the economy which will increase the jobs."

Stop and Frisk

"We got 800 guns off the street last year alone by stop, and frisk. Since 2001 there's been 800 less murders, and those murders were primarily in minority areas."

"Stop and frisk, the cops don't want to do this. Ray Kelly doesn't want to have to do this. But it's the only way to get guns off the street. For every elected official that says let's stop, stop, and frisk, they're the ones that are going to be responsible for the increase in murders. They've got to come up with a way to get those guns off the street, that doesn't involve stop, and frisk. I haven't heard one yet."

Jumaane Williams

"I like Jumaane a lot. He's one of our good new council members, we disagree on a lot of issues. That issue had nothing to do with stop, and frisk. I told him that, we discussed this. I don't know if the cops acted correctly, or not, there's a lot going on there, but that had nothing to do with stop and frisk."

"He, and another individual who works for Bill Deblasio, Mr. Foy they wanted to go through a restricted area, and it wasn't just the two of them. What you don't hear in the press a lot, they had 10 people with them, so it turned into something it should not have, and I think both sides were a little bit at fault there. But what that has to do with the Stop, and frisk policy, I am not sure."

Queens Borough President

"When it comes to Queens County they've always backed me, my family goes way back with Queens County, most of the time we've worked together. I love working together with Queens County, because there's a lot of good people there. But you know, we respect their opinion, we want to work with them, but like most people, they don't make the decisions for my family."

"I like Leroy Comrie a lot, in fact we're having lunch next week."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Melissa Mark Viverito on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, who represents the 8th CD. Here are some of the Council members views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Occupy Wall Street

"The message to me is very clear, and it's resonating with people, because you just don't have thousands of people emerging on the street, you don't have this movement being multiplied across different cities, because it has no focus, and no message. There is a message, that is resonating with people, what I believe is the message is we are the 99%, and we want our government back, we want the government to respond to the majority in this country, and not to the minority. This is not about the elite controlling, and the corporations, and the elite controlling our government."

"I have been very inspired, by occupy wall street."

"I see the tea party on the wane."

Governor Cuomo

"When it comes to economic issues, I see him more unfortunately to say as a Republican. You know, I don't see much difference in the positions that he's taking than a Scott Walker, you know in Wisconsin where he's asking the unions to continue to negotiate, and to give up their benefits to really roll that back in terms of affecting pensions."

"NY State has the largest income inequality in this nation. This Governor needs to speak to that, and he's not, and that is very unfortunate. I want to hear how Governor Cuomo is going to address that."

"I really would like to see more leadership. I hope it's not the politics of the future, that is impacting the decisions he's making now."

Mayor Bloomberg

"I don't really know, what he brought to the table in this 3rd term that was so necessary right, to subvert the democratic process, and do a run around, around the people, and get this 3rd term this way."

"I am not very happy right now, it's a very frustrating time."


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drama en el Distrito 86 - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com


Drama en el Distrito 86 - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

El asambleísta Nelson Castro quiere solidificar su posición en el distrito 86 eliminando a sus líderes distritales Charlie Rodíguez y Yudelka Tapia, quienes, según él, no han hecho mucho por la comunidad.
Castro me argumentó lo siguiente: "la función del líder es trabajar con los funcionarios electos para ayudar a la comunidad, pero no he recibido ningún apoyo de Tapia o Rodríguez".
En su opinión, Rodríguez ni contesta el teléfono y Tapia no ha sido nada "sino un piedra en el camino".

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

Drama in the 86th AD El Diario La Prensa















Drama in the 86th AD.

Roberto Perez | 2011-10-19 | El Diario NY

Assemblyman Nelson Castro wants to solidify his position in the 86th AD, by eliminating his male, and female district leaders Charlie Rodriguez, and Yudelka Tapia, who Castro says have been inactive in the community.

I spoke to Castro about the situation, and he said, ”The job of the district leader is to work, with the elected official in order to help the community, I have not received any support from Tapia, or Rodriguez.”

Castro says, that Rodriguez does not pick up his phone, and that “Tapia has been nothing, but a road block to him.” Sources close to Castro see Tapia as vulnerable. We ran a phantom candidate against Tapia in Samantha Serrano, and she only won by 139 votes. Imagine if we ran someone who received the all out support of the Assemblyman, we would run circles around her.

Tapia has been mentioned, as a possible opponent to Castro, and has close ties to the Bronx Democratic Party, State Senator Ruben Diaz, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, so this should get interesting.

Castro plans to run Steve Santana for the male District Leader post, and has been approached by several women interested in dethroning Tapia.

Women in Govenment

A group who calls itself Women in government has been meeting over drinks, and dinner to empower themselves for the betterment of the community.

It includes women who are mostly Dominican, and work for different offices in state, and city government, like Lilliam Perez from the office of the Attorney General, and Elizabeth Deleon who recently joined the Bloomberg Administration.

In 2010, they got involved in electoral politics, when they backed State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s Chief of Staff Aneiry Batista for the State Assembly seat, currently held by Guillermo Linares. Batista decided against running, and another Latina Julissa Gomez ran, and came in second.

This Saturday, the group is flexing it’s muscles, by hosting an event with the U.S Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Raul Yzaguirre in conjunction with the office of State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and they are planning an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of flight 587.

It would not surprise me, to see this group become a launching pad for future candidates.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dan Gerstein on THE PEREZ NOTES


This is an interview, I conducted with Consultant Dan Gerstein, on June 11, 2008. This interview is a part of THE PEREZ NOTES archives.



Dan Gerstein is a versatile, perceptive, battle-tested communications strategist and nationally-recognized political commentator with a successful solo consulting practice based in New York City.

Following a distinguished 11-year stint working in national politics, Gerstein formed Dan Gerstein Consulting (DGC) in 2004. DGC specializes in helping organizations, businesses, and the occasional politician win public arguments. Clients range from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools to Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions to Kirsten Gillibrand’s winning campaign for Congress in New York.

In the fall of 2006, Gerstein helped engineer Joe Lieberman’s historic re-election in the nationally-watched U.S. Senate race in Connecticut. He served as communications director and a lead strategist for Lieberman’s general election campaign, which was honored by National Journal as the political “Comeback of the Year” for 2006.

In addition to his work as a communications consultant, Gerstein, 42, is a multi-platformed political pundit and analyst. He has appeared frequently on national and local television and radio news programs -- including on Fox News, MSNBC, and NY1 -- to discuss national political news and trends. He has also written several op-eds for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. In early 2006 Gerstein branched out online with his own blog, Dangerous Thoughts. And in 2007, Gerstein became a regular columnist for The Politico .

Prior to moving to New York, Gerstein spent 10 years working for Senator Lieberman in a variety of senior positions, including as a strategist for Lieberman’s 2004 presidential campaign. Gerstein orchestrated the initial public launch of Lieberman’s pathbreaking candidacy for president in Connecticut. He then went on to serve as the campaign’s deputy communications director, where he coordinated the strategic planning process, directed the policy and speechwriting operations and led daily briefings of the candidate.

Gerstein also served as chief national spokesman for Lieberman’s vice-presidential campaign in 2000, managing relations with national and local reporters, assisting in development of communications strategy and rapid response efforts, and writing statements and select speeches. One of the speeches Gerstein worked with Lieberman on was a widely-praised address on the role of religion in public life at the University of Notre Dame.

When not on the campaign trail, Gerstein served as communications director in Lieberman’s Senate office from 1999-2004, acting as chief message strategist, spokesman and speechwriter, as well as a senior policy advisor. Gerstein began his tenure in Lieberman’s office in 1995 as a legislative aide, specializing in education, communication, and cultural issues.

Gerstein made his mark on Capitol Hill in several ways. He collaborated with Lieberman on his renowned floor statement regarding the impeachment of President Clinton. He was the chief architect of Lieberman’s high-profile values agenda, helping to craft the V-chip law and initiating an FTC investigation into the marketing of adult-rated entertainment products to children. He was a leading strategist behind the passage of the groundbreaking No Child Left Behind education reform bill. And he drafted legislation to expand the federal charter school program that became law in 1998.

Gerstein is a native of West Hartford, Connecticut, and a graduate of Harvard College, with a B.A. in History. His first professional experience was a four-year run as a staff reporter for the Hartford Courant, where he covered local sports, community affairs, and politics.

Gerstein currently resides in Manhattan, where he is active in local politics and civic life. He is the co-founder of Food for Thought, a monthly discussion group that brings together accomplished young professionals from across the city’s political spectrum to chew on new, thought-provoking ideas. He is also a member of the New York Public Library’s Young Lions organization, the New York Film Forum, the Lincoln Center Film Society, and the Public Theater.

Lucia Gomez on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity, to interview La Fuente Executive Director Lucia Gomez. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

Redistricting

"Is Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Chairman of the Bronx Democratic Party, going to step up to the plate, to make sure that Latinos get their fair share of representation, in the Bronx the way their numbers, and proportions command it with the 3% population growth in the Bronx, majority of which was Dominicans, Bronxites descendants of Dominican Republic is that the case, I don't know."

"Rangel's seat needs to stay a majority Latino seat, because I think reshaping Rangel's seat is the best depiction of the way our communities have organized mobilized, and have representation right now, you have the 3 musketeers Linares, Espaillat, and Ydanis who said we can't have 4, and I think that is the best case scenario, is to reshape that district to say look, at the end of the day, I don't know who exactly, has been denying the community to gain congressional representation, but the gloves need to come off, and someone needs to either take them off, or put them on, and I think that's something that's been coming a decade ago."

"It should have happened, and I think at best that's the seat, if I were to think of the Department of Justice, and not reworking the district, so much that you create an opportunity for communities to actually be disenfranchised, due to a major shift in how their districts look. Like I've seen the proposals out there, nothing is amazing everything is disastrous. I think in terms of disenfranchising voters, so the best case scenario for me is that, that district gets shaped in a way that really represents who needs to be elected."

"He needs (Rangel) to go to the Bronx, where the growth has been. Where the community has naturally increased which is the North West Bronx. The community has naturally increased in terms of density, and identification with the Washington Heights community across Washington Bridge, into the University Heights area. There's 2 scenarios. You racially gerrymander, and it would go to court by those that feel that racial gerrymandering disenfranchises voters, or you naturally follow a communities demographic shifts to pull together communities of interest, has a more solid, and legal foundation for protecting the voters interest."

"But I don't think drawing Maloney into a district that splits Washington Heights in 2, and then going out of your way to create a district that goes Harlem into Westchester, because that's what we're looking at, is the best use of anybodies eyes, and I don't think it's the best thing for the voters of that area."


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hablan de boicoteo a conferencia dominicana - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com



Hablan de boicoteo a conferencia dominicana - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

Este fin de semana se celebró la conferencia anual de la Mesa Redonda Domínico Americana aquí mismo en El Bronx. Podría creerse que, siendo Nueva York la ciudad con la mayor concentración de quisqueyanos fuera de República Dominicana, la asistencia de funcionarios electos de NY sería masiva. Pero sorprendente (y sospechosamente) sólo uno se presentó en el evento, el asambleísta Guillermo Linares.

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

Talk of a Boy-Cott at DANR Conference















Talk of a Boy-Cott at the DANR Conference

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 10-12-2011

The Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) held its' annual conference this weekend in Lehman College in The Bronx. Bronx County happens to be the home of the largest Dominican population outside of the Dominican Republic.

But despite the conference being held in the Bronx, which is a stone's throw away from neighborhoods with huge Dominican populations like Washington Heights, and Inwood, only one Dominican elected official from New York actually showed up to the gathering, and that was New York State Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.

Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro stepped down as conference co-chair citing a conflict of interest, and did not attend because of an engagement in Rochester. Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera confirmed on numerous occasions, was supposed to sit on a panel, but canceled due to illness.

I found this to be too coincidental that Dominican elected officials from as far as Pennsylvania, and Lawrence, Massachusetts were able to attend, but that only one elected from New York participated. So I decided to investigate.

According to my sources, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat called for a boycott of the conference because he has been unable to co-opt the Dominican American National Roundtable. The boycott not only included operatives and politicians, but also corporations like Verizon (which withdrew its' sponsorship of the event).

When I heard about the alleged boycott, I called Senator Espaillat to see if the rumors were true. He said the rumors were not true, that he continued to be a strong supporter of the DANR. He explained that he had a book fair in his district, that is why he was not at the conference, but he planned to attend. However, Espaillat never showed up to the conference, and neither did Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who were also scheduled panelist.

Only one person confirmed receiving a call not to attend, but the person was not specific as to who told him or her not to show. No one provided me with any concrete evidence to confirm the rumors, but all anyone had to do was look around the room to see that something was up.

It is also ironic that the only New York Dominican elected official to attend was Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, who has never seen eye to eye with Espaillat.

One thing is for sure, if a boycott was called it was definitely effective.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rory Lancman on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity, to interview New York State Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who represents the 25th AD. Here are some quotes from the interview, with the audio included below.

Occupy Wall Street

"Well it's interesting that you frame it that way. A Tea Party for the left. I don't want us to have a Tea Party cause I think the party is a destructive force. In politics, and it's not merely because I disagree with so many of the positions that might be ascribed to tea party members. I think a lot of people like myself who believe strongly that Wall Street needs to be held more accountable for the financial mess that we got ourselves in. Who believe strongly that we need to do something as a government about growing income inequality. Who believe strongly that the burden of getting the city and state and country out of the financial mess that it's in cannot just fall on the backs of working people, or middle class people. I've always believed in being a strong advocate and being a constructive advocate that's why I got involved in the tenants association and that's why I got involved in the community board and all the other things I became involved in that's why I ran for office."

"I believe in the democratic process. I believe in civic and civil society, so on the one hand I think it's terrific that people are willing to sacrifice their time, and in some cases their liberty, and they're getting arrested for a greater good, and that is advocating for those issues I just enumerated. My job as an elected official is to try to take those expressions which many people have asked well we know what you are protesting about kind of, what is it you want to see happen, what is it you want."

"It's my job as an elected official to figure that out. How to translate those expressions of disappointment, or unhappiness, or protest into workable policy and we're working on that right now actually, and with some bills I have done in the past and maybe some new things with out endorsing, or not endorsing that specific protest movement. I do understand, and do share a lot of the frustrations and outright anger that those protesters are expressing. And we're going to look for ways to translate that, and to try to make some changes in the way the state does some things."


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Puestos electos de el Bronx en la mira de dominicanos - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com



Puestos electos de el Bronx en la mira de dominicanos - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

Roberto Pérez

En 2007 líderes dominicanos de el Bronx se reunieron en la casa de Fernando Aquino, quien actualmente es el secretario de prensa para asuntos hispanos del fiscal general Eric Schneiderman.

Al momento de la reunión, El Bronx no tenía ningún funcionario electo dominicano. Los participantes de la reunión querían cambiar eso.

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

Dominicans eyeing seats in the Bronx


Dominicans eyeing seats in the Bronx

Roberto Perez El Diario La Prensa 10-5-2011

In 2007 Bronx Dominican community leaders held a meeting in the home of Fernando Aquino, who currently serves as Attorney General Eric Schneidermans Spanish language Press Secretary. At the time of the gathering, there was not one Dominican elected official in the Bronx, and the people in the room decided it was time to take action.

Apparently the meeting had the desired results, because it opened the door for the election of Councilman Fernando Cabrera who is ½ Puerto Rican, and Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who was not the desired candidate of many in the room, but who still made history, and defeated another Dominican Hector Ramirez to cement his position.

Now, I am hearing that operatives in the Dominican community are trying to organize another meeting similar to the one held in 2007. Because they feel that the Dominican community is still underrepresented in the Bronx in proportion to it’s numbers.

A person involved in the discussion, said that the first order of business would be to make peace between the different factions within the community. Then, the focus would turn to organizing, voter registration drives, and citizenship drives.

Even though, the meeting is in it’s early planning stages. This did not deter my source from telling me the elected officials they would target. The seats identified as fair game are the 77th AD held by Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson which is 55% Latino, and includes the neighborhoods High Bridge, and Morris Park, and the 79th AD held by Assemblyman Eric Stevenson which is 53% Latino, and includes
neighborhoods like East Tremont, and Morrisania. Time will tell if the meeting actually takes place, and they’re plans come to fruition.

In the meantime. I am hearing that Dominican Carlos Sierra is once again, planning to run for City Council in the 16th CD. In 2009, Sierra ran against the incumbent Helen Foster, and got 39% of the vote. Foster’s term ends in 2013 which automatically improves Sierra’s chances. I am hearing that Sierra has been cozying up to the Arroyo's in the Bronx. I assume that he is counting on the Arroyo’s to provide him with the support he needs to win the seat.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ana Maria Archila responds to Dilan Vs. Velazquez


Hey roberto,

Would be super interesting to read an analysis from the numbers on the ad54 race.

The reality is that in a district that is overwhelmingly democratic, only 37% of the people voted on the vito/dilan democratic line... And many of those didn't know the candidate, they just did what they normally do on election day.

The fact that almost 2000 people voted on the WFP line is hugely significant (only 200 less votes than the dem line). The brooklyn dem machine had to pull out all the stops (including pulling all of vito's people out of the weprin race to assist espinal), and get help from the conservative party, in order to win an assembly race in dilan and vito's backyard.

I think you're reading the results upside down. Nydia has tremendous pull. But the fact that this was a special election, not a primary election, made a huge difference. When people don't know the candidates or are undecided, they tend to do the default, and in this case the default was voting on the dem line.

I wouldn't discount the enormous show of independence and rejection of politics as usual that took place in brooklyn.

-ana