Hispanics on New York’s 13th District – which includes Harlem, East Harlem, Upper Manhattan, Marble Hill, Morningside Heights, Inwood and part of The Bronx – have an appointment with the polls and with history on June 28.
For the first time in 45 years, the seat occupied by U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel is vacant. Nine Democratic candidates are trying to win the party’s nomination on Tuesday’s primaries, before the general election in November.
Among the Democratic candidates stand out state senator Adriano Espaillat, a 61 years-old politician who seeks to become the first Dominican legislator in the House of Representatives. This is his third attempt to win the seat.
“The third one’s the charm,” he told us during a chat with this newspaper, confident that he will be able to bring to Washington a platform seeking solutions to the problems of the 13th District, where 52.5% of the population is Hispanic.
Adriano Espaillat, who has spent 20 years in the Sate Legislature, knows firsthand the struggles of the Latino immigrants in our area. Furthermore, when he was brought to New York at 9 years old, he was undocumented for some time. He does not forget that.
The senator has shown in Albany that he has the sensibility to identify and prioritize the key issues for the community.
He has not hesitated to organize thousands of tenants and lead the struggle to reinforce and extend rent stabilization laws. He was a strong defender of the Tenant Protection Unit, which recovered some 50,000 rent-stabilized units. He also had a significant role when the state invested $100 million in NYCHA.
As for the minimum wage, he is certain to bring the $15 battle to the federal level, as he did in New York, where he has scored victories for workers.
He helped pass legislation to improve job conditions for 40,000 boro cab drivers. He also contributed to the empowerment of thousands of childcare providers. He sponsored an initiative to treat farm workers fairly.
Espaillat’s work both at the state Legislature and the community has left a mark. This is why El Diario is endorsing him, and we believe that the next step for the Quisqueyano must be Capitol Hill. That’s where he is headed, with an agenda that includes: immigration reform, affordable housing, and better wages and education opportunities for our people. Vote for Espaillat.