Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Ruben Diaz Jr.

Ruben Diaz Jr.

  • 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 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 ...

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    (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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    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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    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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    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. (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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    (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 ...

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    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 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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  • mmv ayala

    Speaker Mark-Viverito with Diana Ayala (photo: Samar Khurshid/GothamGazette)


    The primary election on Tuesday saw incumbents retain power across most of the city and few upsets in contested races. But in one of the most competitive races of the day, a first-time candidate prevailed over a long-time elected official, overcoming an expected gap in name recognition and other deficits, in a City Council district struggling with concerns for its future and looking for its next local leader to advocate for its interests.

    District 8, which covers East Harlem and the South

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    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: @rubendiazjr)


    Just last month the annual Somos El Futuro legislative conference took place in Albany. Over 30 years ago a group of Latino elected officials and community leaders initiated the conference as a means to highlight issues important to Latinos and to shine a light on the plight of Latinos in New York. The visionary leadership of these early pioneers was to capitalize on and give consciousness to the ever-growing presence of Latinos in the state. Perhaps the name itself, Somos El Futuro -- We are the Future -- was not only a testament

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  • de Blasio Staten Island Oddo

    De Blasio at a Staten Island town hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio will be on Staten Island this week in the first of five “City Hall in Your Borough” sojourns wherein the mayor, who is up for reelection this fall, is bringing city government local. De Blasio, many of his commissioners, top aides, and City Hall staff will work out of borough hall, hold constituent office hours and a variety of events on the island, and attempt to immerse themselves in borough issues for the week.

    The mayor chose

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    The five BPs at Crain's forum (photo: @BPEricAdams)


    Communicate better. Build more affordable housing, and faster. Streamline small business regulations. Improve transit offerings in the outer boroughs. Bust the bureaucracy to get city agencies moving more quickly.

    These tips and pleas were among the guidance that the five New York City borough presidents offered Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday morning. At a forum convened by Crain’s New York Business, moderator Erik Engquist, a Crain’s editor,

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    Vicki Been (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    While sweeping new norms for city land use and housing development were passed into law last month, the debate over how to best achieve affordable housing continues. The larger affordable housing picture was the subject of a Wednesday event hosted by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, where Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. were among the guest speakers who presented their views on city

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    Diaz Jr., Heastie, Crespo (l-r) (photo: @rubendiazjr)


    By all reasonable indicators, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson should cruise to reelection this November despite his low conviction rate, notoriously slow pace in filing charges, and apparent lack of serious fundraising. But many are watching closely to see if Johnson drops off

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    Gov. Cuomo at the Labor Day parade (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    On Thursday Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, held a rally to announce a campaign to make New York the first state in the nation with a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

    "So Mr. Vice President, today I announce that I will propose to the New York state legislature not just $15 for fast-food workers, because a fast-food worker deserves $15

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    From the governor's office: "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today [Monday] departed for Puerto Rico with a New York delegation that will discuss the Puerto Rican government's ongoing healthcare crisis and economic challenges. The Governor and the delegation will be meeting with Puerto Rican officials and will also be discussing the need for Washington to take action to help Puerto Rico." ...