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Citizens Union


US Congress: NY-13

«US Congress: NY-11 Races to Watch»

Stretching across northern Manhattan and into the Bronx, New York's 13th U.S. Congressional District is one of the poorest in the nation. In the district, one quarter of households remain in poverty, according to the Urban Justice Center. Socioeconomic and ethnic demographics are likely to again play key roles in the outcome.

The Democratic primary election featured a rematch of the top two finishers from the 2012 contest, and a repeat in which long-time incumbent Congressman Charles Rangel narrowly defeated New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat. Joining the primary race this year were Michael Walrond, Senior Pastor at First Corinthian Baptist Church, and Yolanda Garcia, Bronx community activist. Archived profiles of the primary contenders can be found below.


 Photo Currently Unavailable

 Photo Currently Unavailable

Charlie Rangel (D)

Kenneth Schaeffer (WF)

Daniel Vila Rivera (G)


Rangel (D)

Charlie Rangel

Campaign Website
Twitter - Campaign
Twitter - Individual

On the Issues


Record in Office

Currently: United States Representative for New York's 13th Congressional District (1970-present)

Previous Work: Attorney; United States Army 1948-1952; New York State Assemblyman, 1967-70.

Education: B.S., NYU School of Commerce, 1957; L.L.B., St. John's University School of Law, 1960.

On the Issues

Civil Rights

"...[E]nsuring equal opportunity and tolerance in our society is very important to me. I believe we should respect everybody regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation."


Supports minimum wage at $10.10, as that is an achievable number.3

Proposes "a national policy to make certain that our young people can go to college, [and] shouldn't have to pay for it."4

"I believe Congress has an obligation to support those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, not only to save our economy, but also to mitigate the impact unemployment has on them and their families."

"...I reject the idea that the future of hard-working Americans should be subject to the volatility of financial markets..."

"...to strengthen our economy, we must create new, good-paying jobs. By extending enhanced expense limits for small businesses and keeping more generous depreciation rules in effect, the recovery legislation will help businesses invest in themselves, allowing them to grow and create new jobs."

"One of the parts of things to increase jobs, of course, is to extend the unemployment compensation for the 3 million people that through no fault of their own have not been able to keep their job."

"...I was proud to stand with my Democratic Colleagues in passing the HIRE Act to provide a payroll tax credit for companies that hire employees who have been looking for work for 60 days or more. We continue to fight for extension of unemployment insurance benefits and payroll tax cuts that could save an average of $ 1000 million of American families."

"We also provide businesses with incentives to hire recently discharged, unemployed veterans and disconnected youth so we can reincorporate them into our communities and grow together."


"I introduced the Rebuilding America's Schools Act which would increase aid for school construction and renovation across the country."

"We should provide the resources so that state legislators...would be able to determine which [education] policies work for our great state, and which policies don't... but the fact of the matter is we don't have a national goal that we should be achieving."4

"If you give the right resources, the right salaries, the right respect to our teachers, they can teach...the question of which policy we should have is certainly not a national issue."4

Opposes school vouchers.3

Supports schools providing food for children who cannot afford it.3

Proposes "a national policy to make certain that our young people can go to college, [and] shouldn't have to pay for it."4

"...I proudly support the American College and Tax Relief Act, an amendment to continue the College Tuition Tax Deduction. This bill will extend the critical college tuition tax deduction for a full four years and help make college education more affordable to America's families."

Supports the DREAM Act, which "would allow 360,000 high school graduates who are undocumented with a legal means to work and attend college in the United States, and provide incentives for another 715,000 children of illegal immigrants between the ages of 5 and 17 to finish high school and pursue higher education."


"I remain strongly dedicated in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel economy standards so we can protect the air that we breathe and the water that we drink."

"...we must make continuous efforts to fight mercury contamination and other forms of pollution to our water sources."

Foreign Policy

"It is important that America reaches out to the international community in order to forge stronger relationships with our allies and build new ones with developing countries. Our country must continue to foster respectful friendships, fair diplomatic assistance, and humanitarian aid."6

"For America to continue to stand as the moral leader of the free world we must lead by example."6

Iraq: "Absolutely [does] not [support President Obama's resolution for airstrikes and boots on the ground and special forces] ... [but maybe] I'd reconsider if we enacted a draft where anybody would be subject to going to Iraq but I would only do that symbolically because it's not going to pass, it is time for us to pull out and see who our friends are internationally; see if we can regain our credibility with our neighbors and try to work out something. When it comes to the point that we lost all of those lives in Iraq, that diplomats are now considering asking Iran for support, it really shows that allowing our country to go to war without getting the consent of the Congress, without knowing the facts, it is not a constitutional way that we should be preforming. I feel so sad as a veteran that I go to these funerals and I find it very very difficult to explain why we're there."7

Afghanistan: "It is now time to end the war in Afghanistan... We should now devote our energy and resources towards rebuilding the economy and ensuring a smooth transition into civilian life for out returning heroes."

Cuba: "I have worked hard in Congress to mend the relationship between Cuba and the United States with a series of legislation over the years. One of the bills, the Export Freedom to Cuba Act, would end travel restriction to or from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents. ... [I]t is time to reopen the diplomatic and economic doors between our two countries."

Korea: "My bill H. Res 376 - Calling for Repatriation of POW/MIAs and Abductees in North Korea, was passed unanimously by Congress. ... The resolution encourages North Korea to repatriate any prisoner of war they have held captive since the Korean War and calls upon the U.S. government to resume search and recovery operations in North Korea which was suspended in 2005. The resolution also calls for the repatriation of South Korean civilians who were forcibly taken into North Korea during the War."


"I support a healthcare system that is accessible, affordable, universal, and driven less by profits and more for the people. The [Affordable Care Act] ensures that insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions. ... The ACA won't solve all of these problems overnight, but it's an important step forward. By making health coverage more affordable and accessible and thus increasing the number of Americans with coverage, by funding community-based public health and prevention programs, and by supporting research and tracking on key health measures, the ACA will begin to reduce disparities, improve access to preventive care, and improve health outcomes and reduce the nation's health spending."6

"We should not cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of gutting the lifeline that helps millions of Americans to survive. I promise to continue opposing any budget proposals that undermine Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

Sponsored the following legislation:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), aka "Obamacare."
  • James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (2010), which "amends the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, and for other purposes."

"...it is crucial that we do not cut federal funding for HIV/AIDS research. Life-saving medications and breakthroughs require bolstered support from the National Institutes of Health and Congress."

"Working in coordination with religious leaders and federal, state, and local officials, we drafted legislation that aims to combat new HIV infections and promote awareness within the African American community."


"I have fought to ensure that tenants and prospective New York City residents are provided with proper support needed to finance affordable housing, while strengthening the quality and accessibility of our housing market."

"In Congress, we are continuously trying to expand affordable housing opportunities for working families at risk of losing their homes."

"The day of luxury housing in the city of New York should be over...what we really have to do is put a moratorium on luxury housing and to make certain we have zoning only for affordable housing. ... no 80-20."1 

"Make certain when you talk about building, you only talk about affordable housing and not back door type affordable housing"1

"Anything above 30% of someone's income and wages let that subsidy come from the federal and state government so that we can not just create affordable housing, but we will have tenants that can afford pay..."1 

"If we make certain that the city and state acquire the property for the sole purpose of affordable housing, if we make certain that the tax structure is such that no one has to pay over 1/3rd of their income for rent."1

"I say we should have 100% affordable [housing]."2

"Nobody should have to pay more than 30% of their income in rent."2


"Orderly and controlled borders, combined with an effective immigration system designed to meet our needs are important pillars of a healthy and robust economy."

"We're not sending 11 million people back home, they're here and they're gonna stay here, so whatever we can do, even in the Department of Justice, we should do it."1

"Having people taken away in the middle of the night with or without due process, knowing not who they are, knowing not what violations they be, is unacceptable to the Congress and to the Democrats there... we should know who's being deported and for what."4

"If you're born there, especially if you have no country to go back to, you should be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the country in which you were born."4

"...my Democratic Colleagues and I will continue to fight for the passage of the DREAM Act..."

On municipal I.D.: "Anything that allows hardworking people to negotiate through life is good."1


"Congress must ... fulfill its obligation to the American taxpayers to ensure public safety. While we cannot stop Mother Nature from wreaking havoc in our communities, lawmakers must do what we can to invest in sustainable infrastructure that will insure against preventable harm." (Time

On who should pay for repairing infrastructure: "The Federal Government has the basic responsibility for interstate and international commerce."1

Supports President Obama's "fiscal year 2015 budget request, which ... includes proposals aimed at enhancing the role of private capital in U.S. infrastructure investment, ... calls for the creation of an independent government ... financing vehicle, ... [and] enactment of the America Fast Forward Bonds program and other tax incentives to attract new sources of capital..." (Time

Sponsored the following legislation:

  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009), "which provided a total of $105.3 billion in funding for infrastructure investment, and saved or created a total of 6.4 million jobs through 2012)." (Riverdale Press)
  • Tax Relief Act (1997), which "first enacted" "the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) tax credits for school renovation and repair." (Riverdale Press)
  • "I have introduced a bill to allow mayors...to start programs that the President of the United States wants, infrastructure building is an investment and creation of jobs. A handful of republicans are stopping it from doing just that."1

Military and Veteran Affairs

"I am committed to giving the brave servicemen and women of today the same opportunity I had to make a change. I firmly believe adequate health and medical care for our veterans are not privileges but sacred rights we must honor."6

Sponsored the following legislation:

  • Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act (2012)(authored), which gives veterans access to telemedicine, to expand mental health treatment.
  • Universal National Service Act (2013)(authored), "commonly known as the 'draft' bill, which mandates two years of nation service for all adults 19 to 42 in any capacity that promotes our nation defense."
  • Hispanic American Heroes Resolution (2007), which "recognizes the men and women who fought and sacrificed for our nation."6
  • Korean War Veterans Recognition Act (2009), which "amends title 4 of the United States Code to encourage the display of the US flag on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day."6

Voted for:

  • HR 2642 GI Bill, Funding for Midwest Flood Cleanup, Extension of Unemployment Benefits, and Other Provisions (passed House 2008), which "provides that active duty veterans who served after September 11, 2001, are entitled to full scholarship for in-state tuition at a public university, a stipend for books and supplies, and a monthly housing stipend. It is transferable to spouses and children of service members who have served at least six years. Those who agree to serve four more may transfer 18 to 36 months."6

"Congress has a responsibility to provide our veterans with the best medical care, which can be further expanded through access to telemedicine."6

"I firmly believe adequate health and medical care for our veterans are not privileges but sacred rights we must honor."

Policing and Criminal Justice

"...our prison system is a revolving door, leaving many without the ample skill or support necessary to become productive members of society."

"Locking up people to punish them not to rehab them is a waste of money, life its immoral to do it."1 

"...we should focus our law enforcement efforts away from drug addicts and small-time dealers onto the big-time drug kingpins who supply them."

Supports restrictions on gun manufacturers.3

"One of my bills, the Crack-Cocaine Equitable Sentencing Act helps put an end to the disparity in sentencing for cocaine offenses. Law enforcement and even judges on the bench are balking at the 100-to-1 inequity in sentencing that slaps the same 5-year sentence for possessing 5 grams of crack cocaine as is mandated for possessing 500 grams of powder cocaine."

"My bill, the Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act will ... Invest resources in a consortium of services proven to keep ex-offenders on the right path [and] Address the prevalence of substance abuse and poor mental health among ex-offenders."

"I introduced the Ex-Offenders Voting Rights Act, which aims to grant full voting rights for those who have been convicted of a criminal offense. I will continue to be a strong advocate for sentencing and prison reform as it is vital to be a voice for so many who are silenced."


Organizations: CSA, 1199/SEIU, all three AFSCME - affiliated unions DC 37, DC 1707 and CSEA, Teamsters Local 237, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, New York State Association of Letter Carriers, Plumbers Union, Local 1 and many clubs throughout Manhattan and the Bronx, including the William Jefferson Clinton Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Three Parks Independent Democrats, Broadway Democrats, Tioga Carver Democrats, Frederick E. Samuel Democratic Club and West Harlem Progressive Democrats, The Amsterdam News, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, Amsterdam News, The Daily News.

Individuals: Governor Andrew Cuomo, President Clinton, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congresswoman Pelosi, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Greg Meeks, Congressman Joe Crowley, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Assemblymember Keith Wright, Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, former Assemblymember (and 2010 opponent) Adam Clayton Powell IV, Councilmember Inez Dickens, former Councilmember Robert Jackson, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman John Lewis, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Donald Payne Jr., Congressman Al Green, Congressman Steve Israel, State Senator Bill Perkins, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, former Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, 2012 opponent Clyde Williams. 

Record in Office

Charlie Rangel currently serves as United States Representative for New York's 13th Congressional District, since 1970.

US Congress Committee Assignments: House Committee on Ways and Means; Subcommittee on Trade (Ranking Member); Joint Committee on Taxation.

US Congress Caucuses: Congressional Black Caucus (Founding Member); Out-of-Iraq Caucus (Founding Member); Army Caucus; African Trade and Investment Caucus (Co-Chair); Progressive Caucus; Bipartisan Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus; Africa Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus; 21st Century Health Care Caucus; Afterschool Caucus; Bicameral Caucus on Parkinson's Disease; Bipartisan Taskforce on Alzheimer's Disease; Arts Caucus; Boating Caucus; Caribbean Caucus; Caucus for Women's Issues; Caucus on Armenian Issues; Caucus on Community Health Centers; Caucus on Hellenic issues; Caucus on India and Indian Americans; Coalition on Adoption; Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus; Fire Services Caucus; Human Rights Caucus; Kidney Caucus; Labor and Working Families Caucus; Real Estate Caucus; Refugee Caucus; Cancer Action Caucus; Navy/Marine Corps Caucus; Rural Housing Caucus.

Censure and Appeal: In 2010, following a House ethics trial, Rangel was censured by the U.S. Congress for the ethics violation of not disclosing rental income. He is currently appealing to overturn the censure, on the grounds that it violated his due process rights.

 * Photo from Rangel's U.S. Congress site

Schaeffer (WF)


Kenneth Schaeffer (WF)

On the Issues



Previous Work: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing 

*Research ongoing




Rivera (G)


Daniel Vila Rivera (G)

On the Issues



Previous Work: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing 

*Research ongoing





Primary Candidate Profiles 

Espaillat Yolanda Garcia, a Bronx community activist is in the running to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel Walrond

Adriano Espaillat (D, WF)

Yolanda Garcia (D)

Michael Walrond (D)

Espaillat (D)

Adriano Espaillat (D)

Campaign Website
Facebook - Campaign
Facebook - Individual

On the Issues


Record in Office

Currently: New York State Senator for the 31st Senate District (2010-present)

Previous Work: New York State Assembly (D, WF – 72nd District) 1997-2010; Project Right Start (Director) 1994-1996; Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office (Director) 1992-1994; Community Planning Board 12 (Executive board member); 34th Precinct Community Council (President); Minority Program Development Chair (State Senate); New York County Democratic Committee (District Leader 72A)

Education: B.S. Political Science, Queens College, 1978; Graduate Degree in Public Administration, NYU

On the Issues


"I will go and make sure that regulatory practices that are important to ensure that banks and the financial institutions don't engage in risky business that will keep the taxpayer on the hook, that those kinds of regulations are kept strong and that our economy can move forward."7

Proposes to make those under the poverty line "eligible for food stamps, medicaid, Section 8...the tax payer we have to subsidize these companies on their benefits packages for their workers."7

Supports minimum wage at $15.3

Supports subsidies for local initatives: "I look forward to the Kingsbridge Armory project, spurring [economic growth through the sports venue, bringing people into the community to spend dollars]."5

Supports the following proposals to aid small businesses:

  • "shift the empowerment zone model from the big box stores" by "taking the $3000 tax credit that is given to big box stores...and double it and give it to small businesses" so that small businesses get "a $6000 tax credit for every local job that they create."3
  • help reduce cost of business by reducing individual small business' electric bills.3
  • rent regulation via binding arbitration: "when a lease is up the small business owner will be able to before an arbiter, before the landlord, and they will decide together the cost of the rent based on market value."4


"I would like to see a portfolio based assessment approach to learning while at the same time keeping very high standards."5

"At the core of our academic failure I think is lack of language proficiency in our city...for ELLs [English Language Learners] we must have immersion programs to ensure that they have the proficiency of the language as quickly as possible and then they'll be able to take [high state tests]."5

Will not consider privatization of public schools.1

"We need to increase funding for all education possibilities."1

Foreign Policy 

Iraq: "I would like to see a multi-national UN-led peace-keeping force that will stabilize the country so that we can avoid the conflict we're seeing on the front page of the papers...it's horrendous what's happening in that part of the world in Iraq and we should not go at it alone, it should be a peace keeping force that will stay on the ground, stabilize the situation and see whether or not the country is ready to go back on track...and guarantee the safety of its citizens without the kind of slaughter and carnage we've been seeing on TV." The peace-keeping force "could include US troops, but it's not a war it's a peace keeping force, UN-led with several countries and allies across the world that want to see that that part of the region is stabilized."7


"The Affordable Care Act begins to wrestle with [the] reality [that health care costs were ballooning]. The fact that the Affordable Care Act allows you to have your children, until the age of 27, in the plan that doesn't take into consideration any existing conditions [is highly valuable]."

Supports the following changes to the ACA and its implementation:

  • expanding coverage to "the undocumented [who] are not covered, those 12 million people will go to the emergency room somewhere and that was part of the problem before."5
  • "take care of dental hygiene and dental care, which is an important part of your physical health as well."5
  • "expand the number of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the district, so our community has access to medical providers who speak our languages, understand our cultures, and know how difficult it can be for low-income families to find the time to seek out care."

"...will work to adjust funding based on more appropriate geographic measures than statewide levels to ensure our district gets the assistance it needs."

"...will push to prioritize federal research, education and grant funding towards targeting low-income communities of color.

Homeland Security 

"I'm terrified when my daughter has to take the subway to go to work."1 

"We should be considering greater resources for the waterfront part of the city, for the infrastructure part of the city, for our water and subway tunnels."

"I don't think we are doing enough in terms of allocating resources for that purpose."


"Public investment should go towards low-income housing for vulnerable New Yorkers, not to billionaires living in luxury apartments."

"...property owners who have broken their commitment to providing tenants with safe conditions should be ineligible for government investment."

"...will fight for renewed funding to address mold and other unsafe conditions that NYCHA tenants are grappling with. He will continue to push for NYCHA reform measures to empower tenants and bring greater accountability to the agency."

"...expand the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to further benefit our community. By increasing the percentage of units in LIHTC-funded buildings reserved for households with income 50% or 60% below our area's median income, we can bring more affordable housing to vulnerable New Yorkers in need."

"Make sure that HUD and the federal governments comes back with a vigorous attitude that they had in the past investing in the immediate development of affordable housing."1

"The HUD block grant program is lower right now in terms of funding then it was when President Gerald Ford was in office."2

"I would like to propose that the 207th Street railyard be looked at as a potential site for major development of affordable housing and a tech center for young people.

"There is no question that unless the federal government steps in and becomes a full partner in developing new units of affordable housing we won't be able to [create and preserve affordable housing]....HUD must step in with dollars and plans...I believe in a 40/30/30 model where you have 40 percent market rate, 30 percent middle class rate for the teacher, the firefighter, and another 30 percent for affordable housing. And I think banks will finance those projects."5

Government Accountability 

On 4/12/14 Senator Espaillat criticized Congressman Rangel for not opening a district office in the Bronx section his district, which he had promised to do upon reelection in 2012. Senator Espaillat's campaign manager released this statement: "Senator Adriano Espaillat knows the importance of unifying the District and will finally open a long overdue Bronx District Office when he becomes the next Congressmember for the 13th."

"We want to take money out of politics, the way to do it is to support campaign finance reform."1

"I will implement participatory budget, so you the people will determine what happens with the money that's coming from Washington"1

"I'm very much in support of participatory budgeting. ... We need participatory budgeting in the empowerment zone process."2


Advocates fast-tracking family reunification.

"Deportation should be stopped immediately, 1000 people a day, this is a terrible situation that's ripping families apart."

"I will go directly to President Obama and say let's stop the deportations...I would also ask administratively for some initiative to take place so that family reunification is really expedited."5


"[Infrastructure] is not just a jobs creation problem, it is a homeland security issue."1

Military and Veterans Affairs 

Military Conscription: "I would advocate for a draft, I think that a draft is a great equalizer of the sons and daughters of rich folks, middle class folks, and poor folks and working class families who will be able to have the privilege and the honor to live in our country."7

Policing and Criminal Justice 

"In New York State, we must pass common-sense gun safety measures like mandatory renewal requirements of firearm licenses; micro-stamping ammunition so criminals can be easier to track and deter; and enhanced scrutiny for mentally unstable individuals seeking guns.

"Of course, gun violence does not stop at state borders. The federal government must end its failure and pass legislation banning assault weapons once and for all. While progressive states like New York have relatively strong gun laws, the patchwork of laws around the country allowing guns to travel easily between states is clearly an underlying factor in this broken system." (State Senator's Press Release)

"We must totally revamp the criminal justice system."1

"I worked to to providing alternative incarceration services before I got into power. I'm talking alternative incarceration services for non violent crimes."1

"We should have specialized drug courts that would handle minimum mandatory sentences."1

"The Federal Government should adopt a form of the Rockefeller Drug Law reform that we are accomplishing in New York State."1

Supports increasing police presence in NYCHA housing and on dangerous streets.4

Proposes to prevent criminal activity in young people by providing them with technology training.4


Proposes the creation of a tech center at the Inwood Rail Yard that will provide young people with technology training and keep them away from crime.4


Proposes to "modernize federal transportation formulas that unfairly favor highway appropriations at urban America's expense. Transportation funding formulas must be altered to support the transit, bicyclist, and pedestrian infrastructure driving urban growth throughout the country." 


Organizations: Working Families Party (WFP), Communications Workers of America District 1 (CWA), Hotel and Motel Trades Council (HTC), United Federation of Teachers (UFT), District Council 9 IUPAT (DC 9), Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU) and the Laundry & Distribution workers affiliate of Workers United SEIU (Workers United), the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan, Democratic Club of El Barrio & East Harlem, Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, El Diario La Prensa, New York Times.

Individuals: New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, former New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx County Democratic Party Chair and Assemblymember Carl E. Heastie (AD -83); Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; Senators Brad Hoylman (SD-27) Jeffrey D. Klein (SD-34) and Gustavo Rivera (SD-33), Assemblymembers Karim Camara (AD-43), Robert Rodriguez (AD-68), Gabriela Rosa (AD-72), José Rivera (AD-73), Mark Gjonaj (AD-80) Jeffrey Dinowitz (AD-81), and Victor Pichardo (AD-86); Councilmembers Mark Levine (CD-7), Ydanis Rodriguez (CD-10), Andrew Cohen (CD-11), Ritchie Torres (CD-15), Julissa Ferreras (CD-21).

Record in Office

Adriano Espaillat currently serves as New York State Senator for the 31st Senate District, since 2010-present

NYS Senate Committee and Subcommittee assignments: Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development (Ranking Member); Committee on Environmental Conservation; Committee on Codes; Committee on Finance; Committee on Higher Education; Committee on Development; Committee on Insurance; Judiciary Committee;

NYS Senate Caucuses: Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus (Chair); The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.

 * Photo from Espaillat's NYS Senate profile

Garcia (D)

Yolanda Garcia, a Bronx community activist is in the running to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel

Yolanda Garcia (D)

On the Issues



Previous Work: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing 

*Research ongoing




* Photo from NYDailyNews

Walrond (D)

Michael Walrond

Campaign Website

On the Issues

Currently: Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church (2004-present); National Director of Minister's Division, National Action Network.

Previous Work: University Minister, Duke University; African American Campus Ministry (Director), Duke University; HEALED HIV/AIDS Ministry; Senior Pastor, Zion Temple United Church of Christ; Chicago Theological Seminary (Trustee/Adjunct Faculty).

Education: B.A. Philosophy and Religion, Morehouse College; Master of Divinity, Duke University.

On the Issues

Civil Rights 

To strengthen women's rights and opportunities, proposes:

  • "stronger enforcement of laws that mandate pay equity as well as additional safeguards against unequal treatment in the workplace."
  • to establish "community based processes and programs that support, mentor and teach women and girls how to gain access to meaningful work and safe and affordable housing."
  • to recognize "broader definitions for families that include single mothers and elder care."
  • to support "single parent families, who are primarily headed by women, ... [by giving] meaningful support for [safe and nurturing] childcare and other essential programs for low-income families such as Head Start."
  • to "support legislation that strengthens all women's right to autonomous health decisions and bodily integrity" and end the "medical apartheid" under which women are losing "access to birth control and other essential reproductive health services," and women of color face disparities in health care: "African American women are more than three times as likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than their Caucasian peers."
  • to work towards enacting federal law protecting the rights of pregnant women in the workplace, in "the spirit" of New York City's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Earned Sick Time Act.


Supports minimum wage at $15.3

"...the outcomes of economic growth and fair wages are not mutually exclusive. ... Comprehensive studies have shown that modestly raising wages does two things: Increases worker purchasing power, subsequently increasing consumer demand; and Results in "zero" lost jobs. Additionally, there is also a poignant moral argument to be made; one that strikes at the heart of the expanding chasm of inequality that exists in our economic system."

"Washington has gone out of its way to legislate on behalf of the few, but has dragged its feet on providing relief and support to the many."

"For [higher wage jobs] we realign the education system. We partner with private sector and the public sector to then prepare young people for jobs of the future, those jobs steeped in science, technology, engineering and math."

"I think there ought to be work requirements for welfare recipients but in many ways I think it's unrealistic when we think about the fact that those on welfare who are among the impoverished in our community don't always have the training or the experience...we need to make sure that we truly train persons for not just jobs, menial jobs or low wage jobs but highly technical and skilled jobs of the future. ... [And we should] reward [welfare recipients] for the desire to want to be college educated."2

"To require someone to work a job that reinforces poverty and reinforces this status as being impoverished is insane in many ways. ... The real way to move them from welfare to work and off of welfare is to train them in jobs for the future."2

"There are certain ways that we create jobs in the next two years, one is through manufacturing energy and technology and...the need for infrastructure."3

"One way to create jobs right now...is through a New York public works program."2

  • In the 2nd debate stated: "One billion dollars towards not only water infrastructure, but roads and the railways, we can create at least 13,000 jobs."2
  • In the 3rd debate stated: "If you invest 1 billion in...water infrastructure you'll create 12000 jobs, in roads and bridges 15000 jobs," and that re-imagining the "activist model of a politician" is necessary to get those jobs for people in this district.3

Supports creating "subsidies to lure businesses," while balancing the influx of larger businesses with both efforts to sustain smaller businesses and with reevaluating neighborhood growth and traffic flow as new businesses come in to neighborhoods.5

Supports the following proposals to aid small businesses:

  • "tax break for those who pay livable wages."
  • "tax breaks for those small business who employ the long term unemployed as well as those veterans who have been underemployed."3


"Universal Pre-K is a fundamental component in solidifying the future of our young people, [and] creates a window of opportunity for all young people, regardless of economic status, for success—something that every child deserves."

"The implementation of Universal Pre-K will not have its full effect if our children go to school hungry. We must simultaneously tackle issues of poverty while providing free education for all children."

"I want to advocate the kind of realignment of our education system that prepares our young people for the technical jobs, the highly skilled jobs, and prepare them for the future and that may not just be the implementation of common core, but STEM programs, and even STEAM programs...because it has been proven that arts help children with their cognitive skill development."4

Teaching to the test "in many ways undermines the values, the other gifts that young people have that cannot always be determined by a test. ... Yes, standards have to be upheld, but we also have to think about how to prepare young people for the jobs for the future so they can be job ready."5

Not anti-charter, but "I am definitely...anti-colocation."1 

Supports putting "resources towards making sure our young people have healthy food choices."3

  • "Every week at First Corinthian Baptist Church we offer breakfast to hundreds of students before school. I am clear that this program will not eradicate poverty, but offering programs like breakfast before books provides a real time alternative to children who are in need."

"Every student who wants a college education ... should have the right to one at no cost."

"...I will champion the implementation of debt-free higher education: free education for qualified students who complete their undergraduate careers in four years. In return, these same students will give a percentage (between 2.5 and 3 percent) of their salary back to the government for two decades."

 "Create cross sector collaboration, where we look to the private sector to partner with our schools in substantive ways to create programs like clean tech in Brooklyn, Sarah E. Goode in Chicago and other schools where you have 6 year high schools where children come out with not only a diploma but a two-year associates degree."2


"It is unacceptable to allow profit hungry entities to control our response to issues such as climate change, global warming and fracking."

"We must be vigilant in doing our part to reduce emissions because industrialized nations have led the way in emitting greenhouse gas emissions."

"Two critical elements towards achieving the goal of energy independence are the reduction foreign oil imports, and the adoption of renewable energy sources."

"We have the technology to make wiser choices for our ecosystem by utilizing renewable energy sources like solar, wind and water and we have to invest in implementing these changes."

Foreign Policy 

Iraq: "As a member of Congress I would probably not support [Obama's proposal to put 300 boots on the ground in Iraq], I think we've learned from Iraq before and even Afghanistan the loss of lives and lives of soldiers that've been lost...we need to think of creative ways to not only engage in diplomatic strategies, but also I think we need to engage in conversations with those that're the neighboring countries...because I think it is not beneficial for the US to go in there unilaterally...to bring resolution to the crisis we have to engage with our allies and those neighboring countries that're in the area."7

Government Accountability 

"The one way, other than campaign finance reform, you guarantee independence and accountability is to then increase voter participation and make sure you register people to vote, increase voter turnout, that will hold you accountable. Many electors don't like that, because you increase the voter pool you risk the possibility of not being elected. And so that's why we practice in many of our districts, voter suppression."

"I support participatory budgeting. ... I think participatory budgeting is an empowering act."2


"I think the Affordable Care Act is good... to have over 7 million people already enrolled in the Affordable Care Act means ... that what the President suggested was successful and that they met the numbers, they met the standards they wanted to reach."5

"We need to use the resources of the healthcare industry, that is booming in this community, to target the areas where we see there are health disparities... [by creating] partnerships between the health industry locally and the areas where you know you can target resources."5

"[W]hen you can come up with creative ways for people to afford health care you contribute to them being able to come out of poverty."5


"We must mitigate the forces that lead to the uprooting of residents who form an integral part of New York City's cultural and social landscape. Housing policy cannot be an afterthought; it must be intentionally constructed and efficiently executed."

"Community revitalization is best served when the interests of prospective residents and long-standing constituents are balanced on the scale of housing justice and economic progress."

"Federal housing initiatives, such as the President's Make Home Affordable Program, have provided much needed relief to homeowners and should be continued."

"I believe in the 50/50 model, 50% market, 50% affordability."

"When you move forward talking about affordable housing I think there're three ways you have to engage it: preservation, creation and protection."

  • "you preserve the affordable housing we have...we preserve those that are below standard."
  • "we have to begin to protect, protect those persons who are the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community"
    • "SCRIE is a way to protect seniors so that seniors don't find themselves paying more than a third of their income towards housing."
    • "you can't talk about protecting affordable housing if you support vacancy de-control."
  • "creation of affordable housing – we need creative mechanisms to think of ways to exclusively build affordable housing...you have to find ways, between private and public partnerships that you can build new affordable housing that is really for those that are struggling, who are marginalized, who are vulnerable and unprotected in our district."4
    • "We have to find creative partnerships to build exclusively affordable housing...a combination of private and public funding ... [and] tax breaks and credits to those who will build exclusively affordable housing."5


"I definitely support the freezing of deportation and also encouraging the President to use his executive powers to stop mass deportation."4

"Immigrants...help our economy by creating small businesses that in turn create jobs."

"Implementing real immigration reform to address this growing population should be a priority. Not only will it grow the economy but it is also the right thing to do."

"...those who were brought to this country as children, should be given the status required to apply for student loans and other resources to further their careers and livelihoods."

"One way we can find common ground ... with Republicans, is when we begin to talk about the economic benefits of passing immigration reform ... - it creates jobs, it'll boost the economy."5

On municipal I.D. cards: "Good thing, quite simply I think anything that gives people a feeling of empowerment and belonging instead of isolation and alienation is good."


On who should pay for new infrastructure: "If you talk about infrastructure in the City, that comes from the City."

"One billion dollars towards not only water infrastructure, but roads and the railways, we can create at least 13,000 jobs."2

"As a Congressperson you have to be vigilant in advocacy and the relationships you build not just in DC but with local municipalities, with the mayor and in the state because in order to bring the monies - it's not just a federal [issue] to push the monies in for infrastructure - you have to have support here locally."5

Policing and Criminal Justice 

"...[Y]oung people are actually not anxious to engage in criminal activity but in many ways don't feel like they have options," so to reduce crime:

  • "have targeted resources, that you take your resources and target those high crime areas...
  • you engage what I think ought to be are violence reduction partnerships, that is bringing many people to that table, not just NYPD, but social workers, mental health practioners, and others because many of our young people in our communities are really traumatized
    • it is amazing how we talk about PTSD but we don't talk about the trauma experienced in inner city life by many young people and their families where they're trying to really deal with this and the normalization of trauma...
  • and then you mentor young people and you engage in job opportunities, job development, job training."4

"The prison-industrial complex profits off of the backs of those less fortunate. There are 2.3 million people who are incarcerated and 25 percent of them are in jail for drug offenses. Our "war on drugs" has cost us roughly a trillion dollars yet there is no shortage of drug use or supply. And tragically, men of color are incarcerated at 10 times the rate of whites."

"We have criminalized drug addiction and poverty. Mandatory minimums break up families and destroy communities. It is time that our country takes a hard look at its obsession to punish as a means for redemption. We must shift the paradigm—the criminal justice system alone will never solve the social issues that plague so many of our communities."

"We reduce mandatory minimums, we look at those 8,000 crack cocaine cases, and we also begin to put more power in the hands of judges."

Supports the Smart Sentencing Act.

Supports decriminalizing marijuana over time.3

 * Photo from Walrond's campaign site


Candidates' statements and photos are taken from their respective websites and press releases, unless otherwise noted. 


1. Congressional District 13 Candidate Debate #1

2. Congressional District 13 Candidate Debate #2

3. Congressional District 13 Candidate Debate #3, June 9, 2014, ABC.

4. Congressional District 13 Candidate Debate #4, June 11, NY1.

5. Congressional District 13 Candidate Debate #5, June 16, BronxNet.

6. Representative Charles Rangel, New York's 13th District, Issues: Foreign Policy, Healthcare, Veterans.

7. The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, June 20, 2014.


For more coverage of the election in this district, check out the NY-13 Voter Guide from the NYC League of Women Voters.


For additions or corrections, please contact Talia Werber at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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