Joint Statement from State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. and Reverend Diego Delgado, Pastor of the Church of the Mediator
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
"For the safety of the congregation and community residents who signed up to ask questions about job creation and economic development, affordable housing and rent relief for tenants, education, senior services and a number of other issues important to poor and working families in the 33rd district, we are postponing the town hall meeting that had been scheduled for 6 p.m. today at the Church of the Mediator.
"The meeting will be rescheduled for those who registered to attend so their questions can be answered and their concerns addressed in the civil environment that was intended. This was never a closed meeting, but space limitations required that participants register in advance.
"It is despicable that political rabble-rousers who are outsiders -- and we emphasize 'outsiders' -- would come into our community under the guise of democracy and tenant advocacy and vow to disrupt a town hall meeting in a House of Worship. We have seen this group in action before -- the same people who are paid a small stipend and a food voucher to some cheap restaurant to appear at events to disrupt, spit on people, use obscene language, intimidate and push people around.
"These people are not from our community, they know nothing of the struggles of our community, and they show up to do the bidding of a political party, which operates under the guise of representing working families and whose days are numbered, and a billionaire who never stepped foot in our neighborhoods until now.
"Where were these outsiders when we stopped the Mayor from closing senior centers in our community, when we restored the free MetroCard for thousands of students in our local schools, and when we stopped the Governor from making deep cuts to classrooms in our school districts? Why aren’t these people supporting a five-year rent freeze for struggling families in our community? We know the answers. They are phonies with no ties to our community. We are not going to allow them to desecrate a House of Worship and a community event, or place the safety and well-being of the good parishioners and citizens of the 33rd district at risk.”