New York’s largest Spanish-language paper, El Diario/La Prensa has launched a strike against the city’s Latino political leadership. The paper published an editorial today supporting Hispanic political newcomers who are challenging two of the most powerful and controversial members of the city’s Democratic Hispanic political elite.
Gustavo Rivera is challenging State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada. The state’s most powerful Latino elected official is battling a law suit charging that he siphoned more than $14-million from a network of nonprofit health care clinics he founded.
Tomorrow, the Reverend Al Sharpton is expected to add his name to the list of leaders and media outlets supporting Rivera. Today El Diario wrote:
Gustavo Rivera for 33rd Senate District
Rivera has minced no words about State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., the incumbent he is challenging. “When he says that he is the highest ranking Latino in the state, that title doesn’t necessarily show that he has an agenda for Latinos,” Rivera told El Diario.
Rivera believes that leaders should be held to a high standard. He has committed to working with his constituents on the issues that matter most to them—jobs, affordable housing, quality education and health care.
The rising leader is an educator with years of experience in public service. He has worked for the New York State Senate and on both local and national electoral campaigns. As a former staffer for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rivera says he worked with her policy staff to get her to better place on immigration issues and with immigrant advocates.
The time has come to close the door on the politics of “me” and for the politics of “we” to reign. District 33 has a chance to do this on Sept. 14 by supporting Rivera.
The paper also endorsed Carlos Ramos who is challenging State Senator Ruben Diaz, a conservative Democrat who represents the 32nd State Senate District.
We are impressed by Carlos Ramos’ deep commitment to a community agenda and his readiness to answer a call for responsible leadership.
For years, Ramos has been a quiet but steady force in critical campaigns for Latinos–from voter mobilization, to holding state leaders accountable on Hispanic representation to building momentum for Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation.
Ramos wants to work on job creation, reducing obesity rates and promoting civic engagement in a district that includes Parkchester, Soundview and Melrose.
While the incumbent Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. has received attention for opposing marriage equality legislation, Ramos says that his votes against community interests and silence on notorious landlords are among the other issues that compelled him to run.
Diaz’s narrow mindedness and grandstanding are inadequate for a district that deserves much more. The solid, consistent work of activists like Ramos would build up ample leaders and organizers poised to move a community forward.
Vote for Ramos on Sept. 14.
Earlier in the week, El Diario published an editorial supporting Eric Schneiderman for attorney general and Adriano Espaillat for state senator in District 31, which represents northern Manhattan and the Bronx.
NY’s Primary is September 14, and will largely determine the winner of the general election in this heavily Democratic city.