Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE PEREZ NOTES on City Talk

The Center for Popular Democracy Staff and Advisory Board


The Center for Popular Democracy is being formed by Andrew Friedman, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York for the past fifteen years; Amy Carroll, Legal Director of Make the Road New York; and Nisha Agarwal, Director of Health Justice Project at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

In April of 2012, CPD plans to hire a Director of Organizing, as well as a Director of Strategic Initiatives and a Director of Operations. In July, we plan to hire two staff attorneys, an organizing trainer and a Director of Communications and Development. A complete budget with Year 1 staffing structure is attached. CPD will create clinics at major law schools in New York City and Boston to provide avenues through which leading scholars and public interest law students can connect to, and support, the work of CPD and our local partners.

The Center for Popular Democracy
Advisory Board

Ana Maria Archila
Co-Executive Director
Make the Road New York

Deepak Bhargava
Executive Director
Center for Community Change

Ai-jen Poo
Director
National Domestic Workers Association

Ali Noorani
Executive Director
National Immigration Forum

George Goehl
Executive Director
National People’s Action

Jason McKain
Executive Director
Colorado Progressive Coalition

Oona Chatterjee
Co-Executive Director
Make the Road New York

LeeAnn Hall
Executive Director
Alliance for a Just Society

Peter Markowitz
Professor of Law
Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
Immigration Clinic

David Udell
Executive Director
National Center for Access to Justice

Gustavo Torres
Executive Director
CASA de Maryland

Ng’ethe Maina
Executive Director
Social Justice Leadership

Leslie Moody
Executive Director
Partnership for Working Families

Pablo Alvarado
Executive Director
National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Brian Ketterning
Executive Director
Leadership Center for the Common Good

Gordon Whitman
Director of Policy
PICO National Network

Pat McKoy
Executive Director
Action North Carolina

Stuart Appelbaum
President
Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store
Union

Dan Cantor
Executive Director
Working Families Party

Paul Sonn
Legal Co-Director
National Employment Law Project

Jesse Graham

Maine People’s Alliance

Se Hace Camino...USA El Diario La Prensa


Se Hace Camino USA …

Roberto Perez | 2011-11-30 | El Diario NY

Se Hace Camino Nueva York, o MRNY en inglés, la organización local de derechos civiles que aboga por los derechos de las personas más pobres, está expandiendo su operación a nivel nacional. Andrew Friedman, el codirector ejecutivo de Se Hace Camino, dejará su puesto el primero de abril de 2012 para dedicarse por completo a desarrollar la nueva organización El Centro para la Democracia Popular.

Friedman me envió la descripción de los objetivos de la organización. El documento define la visión del proyecto así: “A través de asociaciones estratégicas, el Centro para la Democracia Popular (CPD, por sus siglas en inglés) elevará a escala nacional las iniciativas y exitoso modelo de organización de Se Hace Camino Nueva York. CPD replicará campañas legislativas locales y estatales para avanzar una agenda pro-inmigrante, pro-trabajador, y por la justicia racial”.

Oona Chatterjee, también codirectora de Se Hace Camino, trabajará medio tiempo en el ala 501C4 de MTR y medio tiempo en CPD.

Tanto Friedman como Chartterjee seguirán siendo parte de la junta de MRNY. Javier Valdes y Deborah Axt, quienes actualmente son sub directores, serán los nuevos codirectores de la organización de 9,800 miembros y aproximadamente 115 empleados.

“Creo que MTR estará bien, Javier y Deborah tienen más de 25 años de experiencia trabajando con esta organización”, dijo Friedman.

Ana Maria Archila continuará como codirectora de MTR, pero estará en la junta consejera de CPD junto a Chatterjee y otros pesos pesados del movimiento derechos laborales y civiles como Dan Cantor, el director ejecutivo del Partido de las Familias Trabajadoras; Stuart Appelbaum, el presidente del sindicato de trabajadores de tiendas por departamento, mayoristas y al detallistas; y Pablo Alvarado, el director ejecutivo de la Red Nacional de Organización de Jornaleros, entre otros.

MRNY ha sido muy efectivo en traer al frente público problemas que afectan a las familias trabajadoras e inmigrantes, como la falta de días de enfermedad pagados en ciertos tipos de trabajos; una propuesta para aumentar la base salarial en Nueva York para que refleje el costo de la vida en la ciudad; y la recientemente aprobada legislación que limita las deportaciones de inmigrantes detenidos por delitos menores en la cárcel municipal de Rikers Island.

Está por ver qué tan efectivos Andrew y compañía son luchando por estos asuntos a nivel nacional, donde los legisladores son mucho menos receptivos a asuntos laborales y de inmigrantes. Pero quizá allí está la oportunidad. ¡Good luck with that!

MRNY going National El Diario La Prensa


Roberto Perez | 2011-11-30 | El Diario NY

Make the Road NY. The civil rights organization. That advocates for low income new yorkers. Is taking their message, to the national stage. Andrew Friedman the Co-Executive director of MRNY. Is stepping down from his role in the organization on April 1st 2012. Which as he stated.”Is not an April’s fools joke.” To lead a new national organization called The Center for Popular Democracy.

Friedman emailed me a concept paper detailing the objectives of the new organization. Here are a few lines that describe the new group. “Through strategic partnerships, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) will take to national scale the innovative and successful organizing model of Make the Road New York. CPD will develop, win and replicate state and local legislative campaigns that advance a pro-immigrant, pro-worker, racial justice agenda.”

Oona Chartterjee who is a Co-Executive Director of MRNY will also be stepping down. To work part time on the organizations 501C4 arm and to work with the (CPD). Both Friedman and Chatterjee plan to remain on the board of MRNY. Javier Valdes and Deborah Axt who currently serve the organization as Deputy Directors will replace Friedman and Chatterjee as Co-Executive Directors. “Javier and Deborah have more than 25 years experience, working with the organization. So we should be fine.” Said Friedman. “We are a democratic organization, with 9800 members and approximately 115 staffers.” He added.

Ana Maria Archila will remain with MRNY as Co-Executive Director, but will serve on the advisory board of (CPD) along with Chatterjee. The advisory board of the new organization is made up of heavyweights from the Labor, Civil Rights and Social Justice movements. Like Dan Cantor Executive Director of the Working Families Party, Stuart Appelbaum President of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union and Pablo Alvarado Executive Director National Day Laborer Organizing Network and a number of other power brokers. MRNY has been very effective. In bringing different issues that effect poor and working families to the forefront. For example, paid sick leave, a living wage and legislation limiting the city’s cooperation with Federal immigration and ICE. Now lets see, if they can be as effective on a national level.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saru Jayaraman on THE PEREZ NOTES


This is an interview, I conducted with Restaurant Opportunities Center United Co-director Saru Jayaraman, on November 15th, 2007. This interview is a part of THE PEREZ NOTES archives.



Crains new york 40 under 40 profile on Saru.

Receiving hate mail is the worst part of Saru Jayaraman’s work as an advocate for low-wage restaurant workers. “I sometimes feel threatened,” she says. “But I can take the potshots if it helps us to advance.”

The Yale- and Harvard-educated lawyer co-founded Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York to help former employees of Windows on the World get back on their feet after Sept. 11. The nonprofit is now dedicated to fighting labor law violations in the city’s restaurant industry.

Ms. Jayaraman’s battles with some of the most prominent restaurateurs in the city, including Daniel Boulud and Alan Stillman, have netted workers $580,000 in back pay. Helping the disadvantaged is more than a professional calling for Ms. Jayaraman, whose passion was shaped by the struggles of her parents—immigrants from India who worked hard to achieve financial success—and those of her Mexican-American high school friends in Los Angeles.

“I didn’t find a way to channel my anger at injustice until college,” she says.

As an undergraduate at UCLA, Ms. Jayaraman established a mentoring program for women of color that is now in 11 cities and won praise from President Bill Clinton.

The activist, who shuns fine dining spots (partly because she doesn’t think she would be welcome) now organizes restaurant workers around the country. ROC United Co-director Fekkak Mamdouh is confident that the national initiative will be as successful as the local one.

“Saru is a visionary,” he says. “If you put something in her hands, she will make it happen.”

By Lisa Fickenscher

La tragedia de Liu, puede beneficiar a… - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com


La tragedia de Liu, puede beneficiar a… - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

En Nueva York se está volviendo costumbre ver a los políticos caer como mangos maduros. La investigación del contralor de la ciudad John Liu ha creado una tormenta política que no se veía desde el escándalo de Anthony Weiner, hace apenas unos meses.
Hablé con analistas veteranos sobre el supuesto fiasco de Liu y quienes saldrían beneficiados de su infortunio.

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

Who benefits from the Liu investigation? El Diario La Prensa



Roberto Perez | 2011-11-23 | El Diario NY

In New York it's becoming the norm to see politicians fall like ripe mangoes. The investigation of the City Comptroller John Liu has created a political firestorm not seen since the Anthony Weiner scandal, a few months ago.

I talked to two veteran political consultants about the alleged Liu fiasco and who would benefit from his misfortune.

A prominent Latino consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, believes that the main 'winners' in all this are Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who will now probably secure the support of the majority of the labor unions. And former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who, if Liu decides against running for Mayor in 2013, becomes the sole minority candidate.

The consultant thought that it was a mistake on Liu's part to ask former Attorney General Robert Abrams to suspend his inquiry into his fundraising practices. "If you have nothing to hide, why suspend the investigation," asked the consultant.

For veteran analyst Hank Sheinkopf the main beneficiary of Liu's investigation is Bill Thompson. I asked Hank how all this could help the prospect's of former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for mayor and comptroller of the city."If I were advising Adolfo. I would say run for comptroller. He's Smart and is evangelical. Being evangelical matters."
Would you advise Carrión to run against Liu, he said: "Definitely, how can the chief auditor of the city run while under investigation?".

My sources tell me that if Liu decides to run for reelection, there are at least three possible contenders interested in challenging him. We'll see ...

Solano for City Council?

On the other hand, it is rumored that Socrates Solano, an aide to Congressman Rangel, is exploring running for the city council seat held by Robert Jackson. But Solano will only run if district leader Maria Luna does not. The word is, that Luna is not interested, so quite possibly we will see Solano against the new female district leader Marisol Alcántara to see who runs as the Dominican candidate for Jackson's seat. Which of these two Latinos achieves the backing of the Harlem political establishment?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bill Thompson on THE PEREZ NOTES


I had the opportunity to interview, 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate and former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson. Here are some of his views, on the issues of the day. Below the quotes, is the audio of the interview.

Occupy Wall Street

"I was troubled by the fact, that members of the press were detained and arrested and not allowed to cover something. I am concerned about the allegations of excessive violence. But OWS and whats occurred isn't about individuals it is about the larger concern."

"I have tried not to second guess. It's easy to sit back and have a comment, when you're not the person in charge. So I am not going to second guess people being allowed to stay and people being moved. I don't want others sitting on the sidelines, second guessing me when I am the Mayor of the city of NY."

Bloomberg and Liu pension deal

"I think the one thing that people need to understand, is there is no magic wand. They're going to have to pay staff people more. You're going to have to pay salaries that are competitive with wall street. So you're going to see people who work for the city of NY. Who are going to get paid a million dollars 500 thousand dollars with bonuses 2 million. That's the one thing, I don't think people are aware of."

"The one thing it will do. Will be to make them a little more nimble and a little quicker, and easier and to be able to see where the market is and perhaps move a little faster. But there's a down side to this also."

John Liu investigation

"I think there's so much that's still playing out. And you know in this case I'm just like everybody else. I'm reading the newspapers and seeing things on T.V just like you and just like your listeners. I still think it's early the Comptroller John is out defending himself and I think there's a long way to go in this. The one thing that you never want to do is to try and pass judgement on anybody before you see everything. I think whats happening is unfortunate. I think that you do not want to see this happen to anyone. But I think that John should be given the opportunity to defend himself and to stand up and say some of this might have occurred, but I wasn't aware of it."

Stop and Frisk

"I think that stop and frisk when appropriately used, when used correctly is a valuable police tool. I believe it is being used inappropriately right now and incorrectly."

Responds to Stu Loeser

"It's nice that the Mayor is shooting at anybody who has voiced opposition. And my opposition to what he's been doing in education isn't new and it goes back over a period of years."

"What has happened right now over the last 8 1/2 9 years of mayoral control is missed opportunity. I think that number one to compare the Mayor who has control of the system and the former board of education and I was the President of the board. I think it's a little disingenuous and for anybody to talk about that, it falls back on the campaign rhetoric that they used before which was nonsense."

"It's nice that they're still pointing fingers at others. I think that the Bloomberg administration should go find a big mirror and take a look at that. And understand with the 2 years that they have left. What can they do to help improve the lives of our children. That should be there job. Not pointing fingers at others, who are telling the truth."


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clayton Powell IV prepara apuesta para el Congreso - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com


Clayton Powell IV prepara apuesta para el Congreso - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

Adam Clayton Powell IV se postulará para el Congreso otra vez. En una conversación que tuve hace poco con él, no descartó una campaña en contra del congresista Rangel y dejó claro que definitivamente se lanza por ese puesto apenas Rangel se retire.
Durante este tiempo fuera de la política, el ex asambleísta se ha enfocado en su firma consultora, y en seguir bien de cerca el proceso de redistribución de distritos, el cual influirá sus próximos pasos.

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

Clayton Powell IV preparing to run for Congress again El Diario La Prensa


Adam Clayton Powell IV is running for Congress again. In a recent conversation I had with him, he said he would likely not run against Congressman Rangel but definitely made it clear that he would run when Rangel retires.

During his time out of politics, the former assemblyman has focused on his consulting firm, and keeping a close eye on redistricting, which will influence his next move.

With all this talk about redistricting and the possible creation of super-minority districts, one wonders which district will Powell run in, being that he is half Latino and half African American.

In Harlem, Powell's name is synonymous with the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the State building on 125th Street, and the boulevard that bears his name. But Adam was also born and raised in Puerto Rico.

So it was too tempting not to ask him the following hypothetical question: would he run against Congresswoman Maloney if her district was redrawn to include Latino neighborhoods like Washington Heights. Which would also automatically make him a potential opponent to State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.

Or would he want to continue his fathers legacy and run for Rangel's seat, if the district was redrawn to include parts of the east Bronx and Mount Vernon. If he chose this route, he would probably have to face political heavyweights such as Manhattan Democratic boss, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Bronx Democratic boss Assemblyman Carl Heastie, or State Senator Bill Perkins.

Here was his response to the question: "I have very strong ties with the African American community, but I will cross that bridge when I get there." Powell has some money in the bank, but is planning a big fundraiser for mid-January that could mark the beginning of his campaign. He made it clear that his decision does not depend solely on what happens with redistricting. Two other candidates are also being mentioned for Rangel's seat they are Clyde Williams a (close aide to Bill Clinton and President Obama) and Vince Morgan a (former aide to Rangel).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Al Wiltshire to run Towns re-election campaign


Al Wiltshire who currently serves as Congressman Ed Towns Chief of Staff, is taking a leave of absence from his office. To run his re-election campaign. Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, and Councilman Charles Barron, have been mentioned as possible opponents to Towns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Latino aspira a presidencia de Queens - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com


Latino aspira a presidencia de Queens - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

Las fichas siguen acomodándose para las elecciones municipales de 2013. Por ahí corre el rumor de que el senador estatal José Peralta anda calladamente explorando una postulación para la presidencia del condado de Queens.
Mis fuentes me dicen que Peralta, motivado por positivas conversaciones con empresarios, se ha propuesto aumentar sus fondos de campaña de $80,000 a $100,000 para el cierre de enero.

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

Peralta looking to run for Queens BP? El Diario La Prensa


Peralta looking to run for Queens BP?

Roberto Perez | 2011-11-09 | El Diario NY

The political maneuvering has already begun, for the elections of 2013. And rumor's are beginning to circulate that state Sen. Jose Peralta has been quietly exploring a run for Queens borough president.

My sources tell me that Peralta, has been motivated by positive conversations with the business community, and is aiming to increase his campaign war chest from $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 by the end of January.

If Peralta decides to run he would face two strong opponents, in councilman Peter Vallone Jr. Chair of the public safety committee and, son of the former speaker of the city council, who has already amassed more than a million dollars and can count on an excellent relationship with the firefighters and police unions, and Deputy Majority Leader of the council and chair of the influential Land Use Committee, Councilman Leroy Comrie, who has close ties with the Queens Democratic Party.

Looking at both opponents, it is not unreasonable to think that Peralta has a chance in this election.

Despite his strong financial standing, the love-hate relationship the Vallone family has had with the Queens Democratic Party throughout the years, could undermine Vallone's candidacy. Moreover, his unconditional support of the NYPD, and stop and frisk, may hurt him with minority voters, which is crucial in a county that is 27.5% Latino, and 19.1% African American.

Comrie on the other hand, only shows $ 6.831 in his campaign account. Although Comrie could say, that his assets lie in the voter rich southeast Queens area which he counts as his base, and therefore does not need a large sum of money, but his precarious electoral piggy bank, can also be interpreted as a sign that he can not motivate donors, and that's an argument that Peralta can use when asking for the support of the party leaders.

Peralta also has a long and strong relationship with the unions, which is crucial for success in this race. Finally, in the last election the party supported an African American candidate, in Helen Marshall, Peralta could make the case that, in the interest of promoting diversity in the county, this time they should support a Latino. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Alice Cardona on THE PEREZ NOTES


This interview, was conducted with the late Alice Cardona (1930-2011), on I believe it was May 3rd, 2007, or 2008. This interview, is a part of THE PEREZ NOTES archives. May you rest in peace Alice.




National Institute for Latino Policy
Alice Cardona 1930-2011

Alice Cardona is a Puerto Rican whose advocacy for women's rights and bilingual education, as well as her efforts as founder of various organizations for Latinas, have distinguished her in New York activist communities. She passed away on November 1, 2011 at 2:30pm of cancer.

Cardona was born on March 17, 1930, the first of nine children born to Puerto Rican parents who migrated to New York City in 1923. She was raised and educated in Spanish Harlem ("El Barrio"). Upon graduating from high school in 1950, Cardona began to work in a store. During this period, she also volunteered at the Legión de Maria, visiting and giving psychological support to Black and Latino people in need. This experience helped expand Cardona's understanding of the oppressive social, economic, and educational obstacles that these groups faced in New York.

In 1961, Cardona decided to join the Sisters of St. John, a religious order based in Taylor, Texas. After a short time in the community, however, she decided that the religious life limited her abilities to affect change so she abandoned the religious vocation.

After this experience, Cardona returned to New York where she worked for a financial institution and as a program coordinator for United Bronx Parents (UBP). With UBP, she oversaw programs that facilitated parental involvement in the school system and supervised youth in the summer job program. In 1964, she became involved in the first Head Start program in New York.

Alice Cardona with Toni Pantoja, Yolanda Sanchez, Luis Reyes, Diana Caballero and other freinds
Cardona's career flourished between 1970 and 1978, a period during which she worked at ASPIRA as a counselor for youth and later as director of a counseling program for parents and students. There, she was able to use her abilities to help youths achieve their goals through education. She also had the opportunity to form relationships with administrators and heads of various foundations and educational organizations in addition to parents and students.

ASPIRA prompted Cardona to return to university and complete her degree. In 1973, she received her bachelor's through an independent study program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. During this period, in addition to her work at ASPIRA and university studies, Cardona was an active member of National Conference of Puerto Rican Women (NACOPRW). In 1975, Alice took an even greater role in NACOPRW, becoming a member of the national board of the organization and making decisions at a local and national level. Around that time she also co-founded HACER/Hispanic Women's Center, which aimed to help Latinas to achieve their professional goals via education.

During the administration of Governor Mario Cuomo, 1983-1995, Cardona was the assistant director of the New York State Division for Women, where she directed the office's day-to-day operations. This position allowed her to further advocate for bilingual education and women, including those in prison. She also worked to combat HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and domestic violence.

Since her retirement in 1995, Cardona dedicated herself to participate as a member or founder in a variety of organizations. She was the director of the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs (PRACA); co-director of Atrévete, a group dedicated to voter registration and political participation organized by the Migration Division; member of the boards of National Women's Political Caucus, National Association for Bilingual Education, and Puerto Rican Educators Association; and a member of various other organizations. During her lifetime, Cardona helped to found over a dozen community or political organizations. In July 1997, Cardona was one of seventy women from the United States to be invited to attend the "Vital Voices of Women in Democracy" conference in Beijing, China to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Women's Forum. She also served as the Hispanic liaison of the office of Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and as a trustee of the National Latina Caucus.

Cardona is the author of the book Puerto Rican Women Achievers in New York City and was the first Latina to receive the Susan B. Anthony Prize, awarded to her in 1983 by the National Organization for Women, the largest feminist organization in the country. She was also recognized with many other awards for her community service, particularly for her work with women, children, and bilingual education.

Her beloved sister, Diana, is following Alice's wishes to be cremated and a service will be held in the near future.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adolfo Carrión con el ojo puesto en la Alcaldía - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com


Adolfo Carrión con el ojo puesto en la Alcaldía - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York - impre.com

Los rumores de que el ex presidente del condado de El Bronx Adolfo Carrión se postulará para contralor de la ciudad en 2013 parecen no tener gran fundamento. Mis fuentes me dicen que Carrión sigue teniendo en la mira lanzarse a alcalde ese año. Carrión, quien cumplirá 51 años en marzo, tiene más de $2 millones en sus arcas de campaña.
A pesar de haberse desaparecido de la escena política local en 2009 cuando se unió al gabinete de Obama, parece que Carrión cree que este es el momento, y puede ser que tenga razón.

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

Carrion eyeing a run for Mayor El Diario La Prensa


Roberto Perez | 2011-11-02 | El Diario NY

The rumors that have, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, running for City Comptroller in 2013, are largely unfounded. My sources tell me, that Carrion has his sights set on running for Mayor in 2013. Carrion, who will be 51 in March, and has over 2 million dollars in his war chest, apparently feels that now is the time.

Carrion may have some momentum, if he decides to run. The current leader for Mayor, in many people’s eyes is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who could fall prey, to the Speakers jinx, which is the inability to parlay the Speakers post into higher elected office, take for example, the two previous City Council Speakers Gifford Miller, and Peter Vallone who had fundraising advantages by virtue of being Speaker, yet both were unable to connect with the city wide, and state wide electorate.

Another component, that may help Carrion’s candidacy, is the fact that both minority candidates being mentioned for Mayor, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, and current City Comptroller John Liu, have their own issues to deal with. Thompson has to convince party leaders, to back him once more, after his losing bid, and Liu, who was considered by many to be the minority front runner, has recently been hounded, by questions about his fundraising. This could create, an opening for Carrion.

But any conversation concerning Latinos, and citywide office, would not be complete, if I did not mention Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Initially, I was hearing that Diaz Jr. was reluctant to run for city wide office, because he was trying to mend fences, with the business community, whom he angered, when he opposed the development of the Kings Bridge Armory, over the developers refusal to pay a living wage.

In turns out the rumors were false, and Diaz Jr. is proud of his support of the living wage, a person close Diaz Jr. made it clear to me that Diaz Jr. has not made up his mind yet, but that the armory, and its development will play no role whatsoever in his decision to run for city wide office. Stay tuned.