Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Ruben Diaz Jr.

Ruben Diaz Jr.

  • ydanis rod vote

    Eric Adams with Ruben Diaz Jr, Ydanis Rodriguez, and others (photo: @ydanis)


    The Democratic mayoral primary is finally over. Over too is the ranked-choice vote counting process. We know enough for a preliminary analysis of how many Latinos voted and how, though those numbers will need to be fine-tuned after results have been certified and voter information updated.

    Here is what we know right now: In a crowded field, Eric Adams earned the greatest chunk of the Latino vote, especially in the Bronx, the only Latino-majority borough in the City of New

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  • melissa mv cm annual pr

    At the Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Will Latinos finally help elect the first Latino mayor in New York City history? With a term-limited Bill de Blasio, and with Latinos a growing political force in Gotham, two Latino candidates on the Democratic side are vying to replace him in Gracie Mansion and Fernando Mateo has just announced his candidacy to gain the Republican nomination. 

    Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and long-time nonprofit executive Dianne Morales have positioned

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  • bronxtalk mayoral screen shot

    5 of the 7 mayoral candidates who appeared at the BronxTalk forum with host Gary Axelbank


    Seven candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to become New York City’s next mayor appeared at a virtual TV forum to discuss their visions for revitalizing the Bronx, the borough hardest hit by COVID-19 and its economic impact and which already faced many deep challenges before the pandemic.

    The forum was co-hosted by the Bronx Democratic County Committee and BronxTalk, a public affairs TV program on BronxNet, and moderated by BronxTalk host Gary

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  • ruben preferential report

    Ruben Diaz Jr. outside City Hall (photo: Diaz Jr./Flickr)


    After Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a Democrat, announced that he would retire from government at the end of his third term, it opened up the Bronx as fertile ground for votes in the 2021 New York City mayor’s race. Diaz Jr. had long hinted at and prepared for a run for mayor, and was considered a top contender. Without the threat of his charisma and popularity in the race, candidates who are running immediately saw a better opportunity to compete for the hearts, minds, and

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  • proj hou food

    Free food offerings (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Even before the COVID-19 crisis, far too many of our neighbors didn’t know where their next meal would come from. Today, the number of food-insecure New Yorkers stands at a staggering 1.6 million people. In the Bronx, 24% of residents—including children, seniors, and working families—are impacted. While it is crucial to continue supporting the civic sector, which includes community-based organizations, faith partners, and food pantries, we must also ensure that these essential partners are not the first and only line

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  • Bronx Democrats Heastie Diaz Jr Crespo

    Bronx political leaders Heastie, Diaz Jr., Crespo (photo: Bronx Borough President's Office)


    To say the Bronx political landscape is changing is simultaneously both a trite observation and a vast understatement. The once-vaunted Democratic machine in the borough is currently leaderless and has lost many of its longtime fixtures in recent years, with more on their way off the political stage. This comes at a time when progressive and anti-establishment forces are gaining momentum across the city, though in some ways less so in the

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  • Bronx Democrats Crespo Diaz Jr

    Bronx Democrats (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    The Bronx’s political landscape is undergoing major shifts, full of electoral upsets and unexpected political departures. While Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie remains one of the most powerful elected officials in the state, the borough’s Democratic County Party that he has been leading, in essence, for many years is faltering amid election losses and retirements from politics, all setting the stage for what will be an immensely important 2021 New York City election cycle with a great

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  • inauguration jan

    (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Candidates running for local office filed their latest campaign finance disclosures with the New York City Campaign Finance Board this week, showing their fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, and cumulative numbers for the 2021 election cycle.

    Next year’s election is shaping up to be highly competitive and consequential, with two of three citywide elected officials, four of five borough presidents, and 35 of 51 City Council members facing term limits. The city will elect a new mayor and comptroller for the first

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  • groundbreaking gov twa

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    As 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our “best” and most-read articles of the year. We have a lot of reporting that we’re proud of -- some of which was really well-read, some of which may not have received the attention it deserved. Gotham Gazette readership increased for the sixth straight year in 2019, and was up about 30% from 2018. Thank you to all those who have been reading, we appreciate it and enjoy doing what we do to bring you important local news with our

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  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • De Blasio close Rikers

    De Blasio, Johnson, Ayala & others at Rikers announcement (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The plan to close the Rikers Island jails and replace them with four borough-based facilities has sped through the city’s land use process and is awaiting approval from the New York City Council, prompting both support and rebukes from criminal justice reform activists and those who prefer to keep most city detainees on the island. If it passes at the scheduled October 17 vote, full implementation of the plan will fall in the hands of a future mayor, perhaps two,

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  • Corey Johnson

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s expected mayoral campaign is based in part on a big small-dollar gamble.

    When Johnson announced in January that he was exploring a bid for mayor – he hasn’t made it official yet – he set a $250 limit on all campaign contributions, far below the maximum possible limit of $5,100. And though the latest campaign finance disclosures show him outpacing his three likely Democratic primary opponents in the number of donations he

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  • scott stringer bill de blasio bernie sanders inaugural ceremonies

    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has made no secret of his plans to run for mayor in 2021, when both he and Mayor Bill de Blasio will be term-limited out of their current positions. And the outline of his mayoral policy platform is already hiding in plain sight.

    After briefly entering the 2013 mayoral campaign before shifting to a first successful run for comptroller, Stringer has spent a long

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  • rubendiazjr comm

    Ruben Diaz Jr., third from the right (photo: Office of Ruben Diaz Jr. )


    Just as development has defined the Bronx borough presidency of Ruben Diaz Jr., money from the real estate industry has buttressed his political career. Though he has faced virtually no competition in three campaigns for borough president, the real estate donations have flowed in, helping Diaz Jr. prepare for an already-simmering run for mayor.

    Over the course of his three campaigns for Bronx borough president, 37.7% of donations to Diaz Jr.’s campaign accounts at the $1,000-level or higher come

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  • Ruben Dia Jr.

    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Diaz Jr.'s office)


    Development in the Bronx has defined Ruben Diaz Jr.’s borough presidency, now in its tenth year and coinciding with record economic expansion across the city and country coming out of the Great Recession. And Diaz Jr. has defined his borough presidency –– and plans to build his upcoming run for Mayor –– around economic and housing development.

    The Bronx has seen $18.96 billion poured into development since 2009, the majority of which has gone to residential units, according to the borough president’s ...

  • ruben bx brf

    (photo: office of Ruben Diaz Jr.)


    One week after the 2019 Charter Revision Commission held its final hearing in the Bronx and one day after its last borough hearing, but before the commission decides what proposals it will put before voters this fall, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released his testimony to the commission on Wednesday.

    While the 15-member charter commission, on which Diaz Jr. has one appointee, is considering a wide range of possible changes to city governance and elections, Diaz Jr. focused his written testimony on two crucial measures: land use

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  • rdjr sotb

    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Victor Chu/Bronx BP)


    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is in favor of closing the jails on Rikers Island but vehemently opposed to the joint de Blasio administration-City Council plan for a new jail site in the Bronx. Diaz Jr. isn’t against a new jail in his borough. Instead, he wants the city to use a different location, closer to the courthouse where defendants must appear, but that city officials say is less workable than their chosen site.

    Diaz Jr. made his case during ...

  • de Blasio SHSAT

    Mayor de Blasio announces specialized high schools plan (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    In June of 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a plan to eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for New York City’s specialized public high schools, in an effort to increase diversity, especially for black and Latino

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  • 1rubendiazjr

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 27, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

    ruben diaz jr 150Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. joined the show to discuss a variety of topics, including the fight over a jail site in the Bronx, reforming admissions to the city's specialized high schools, his initial 2021

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  • rubendiazjr richie torres cm

    Rep. Serrano, BP Diaz Jr., CM Torres (l-r) (photo: @rubendiazjr)


    It’s time for a rumble in the Bronx. After 29 years in Congress and 44 years in elected office, Congressional Rep. José Serrano has decided to retire from office. Together with the likes of Herman Badillo, José Rivera, Robert Garcia, Gerena Valentin, and Ramon Velez in the Bronx, Serrano has been a pioneering figure within the Latino/Puerto Rican political landscape in New York City.

    Serrano fought at the frontlines for Latino political representation at a time when

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  • ruben diaz jr sotb

    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Bronx BP's office)


    Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. delivered his tenth State of the Borough address on Thursday afternoon, where he informally advanced his inevitable campaign for mayor and outlined his vision of a more progressive New York City, using his work in the Bronx as a blueprint.

    As is customary in “state of” speeches, Diaz Jr. outlined what he believes are the top accomplishments of his tenure, highlighting the steadily low crime rate of fewer than 100 murders per year for six consecutive years,

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  • ruben diaz sr comm vehicles

    (Photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    In a rare move on Wednesday, the New York City Council voted to dissolve a standing committee after its chair, Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., made homophobic remarks in a recent radio interview and repeatedly refused to apologize for them in the days after.

    Diaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister with a long history of anti-LGBT positions and actions, said last week in the radio interview that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community," ...

  • Mayor de Blasio

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking to make a lasting impact on city governance through a charter revision commission that would transform the city’s campaign finance system, promote greater civic involvement in city affairs, and inject new blood into local community boards. But prominent elected officials, most of whom are Democrats like de Blasio, don’t agree with the proposals the mayor’s commission has put on the November 6 ballot and are urging New Yorkers to reject them.

    The mayor’s commission put ...

  • Bronx jail site NYPD tow pound

    Planned Bronx jail site (photos: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced last week that they’d reached a deal to speed up the closure of Rikers Island by creating or expanding jail facilities in every borough except Staten Island, it seemed to be a clear sign of a productive partnership between the administration and local elected officials.

    The mayor and speaker made the announcement at a news conference at City Hall, alongside four Council members -- Diana Ayala, Karen

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  • jerome ave aerial

    Jerome Ave corridor rezoning, via City Planning


    The City Planning Commission voted January 17 to approve a comprehensive rezoning plan for the Jerome Avenue corridor in the Bronx, putting the proposal before the City Council for scrutiny in the final stretch of the lengthy land use review process. The rezoning would follow four others ushered through by the de Blasio administration as it somewhat controversially seeks to add housing density, including thousands of new affordable units, and make other investments in mostly low-income communities across the five

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