Senator Gustavo Rivera released the following statement in reaction to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s State of the Borough Address:
“Bronx Borough President Diaz focused on some of the key issues impacting Bronxites: income disparity, education, health and economic development, including the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. I was heartened to hear the Bronx Borough President talk about an unsettling and difficult reality regarding income disparity in New York City. New York City has the highest income disparity in its modern history and the state of New York has the highest income disparity of any other state. Bronxites are feeling squeezed by 13% unemployment in the Borough and record-high income disparity.
I stand with the Borough President in calling for a new “living wage” law that would require projects subsidized heavily by the taxpayers to be developed by companies that will provide a “living wage” to their employees. I support both the “living wage” law and the new law requiring health impact statements. As this legislation moves forward, I will stand with Borough President Diaz and Bronxites to ensure that development does not have a negative impact on any neighborhood throughout New York City.
As an educator, I was excited to hear more about the borough’s first education summit. I will work with Borough President Diaz to ensure that we can bring educators from throughout the country to the Bronx to discuss our public schools as well as problems and best practices in public education systems throughout the country.
Borough President Diaz also spoke to one of the most promising and exciting economic development opportunities we have in the Bronx and specifically in my district, the 33rd Senate District – the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. As a member of the taskforce, I will continue to work closely with our Borough President to ensure that the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory bring good, well-paying jobs to my district and spark economic growth in the Bronx.
I applaud the Borough President for what he has accomplished. Borough President Diaz has made assisting Bronx business a priority, with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) having provided assistance to almost 700 businesses in the last year and provided $32 million of funding for Bronx businesses. I also want to commend Borough President Diaz for recognizing some of the gaps that needed to be filled, providing more than $12 million in funding for Bronx schools, hundreds of millions of dollars for new housing developments and park improvements.”