WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Senator Tom Duane's Retirement
You should know that New York State Senator Tom Duane today has announced his decision not to seek re-election.
Even though there are two social issues – gay marriage and abortion – that Tom Duane and I have never agreed on and have very strong and differing points of view on, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about him leaving the Senate.
As you know, Tom Duane is a White Senator who has served and represented a mostly White and affluent community, but I have to say that he has been the only Democratic Senator who stood with me fighting against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget that seriously hurts New York’s Black and Hispanic communities.
Although Governor Cuomo’s Budget was not nearly as detrimental to Tom Duane’s community as it was to my constituents, Tom Duane showed his love and commitment to protect New York’s minority communities much more than even other Hispanic and African-American legislators.
You should know that in our Senate vote against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first Budget, Tom Duane put aside his positions on gay marriage and abortion, and we stood together as the only two New York Senators who voted to protect the poor, the needy, and the less fortunate in New York.
One thing I will miss about Tom Duane is the way he respects others. Even though Tom Duane and I have polar opposite views on gay marriage and abortion, he has never insulted me nor offended me personally. He has always treated me with respect. Tom Duane always demonstrates a high level of human dignity and I wish others could learn from the example he has set.
And so my dear reader, I will miss Senator Tom Duane, and I wish that we could have more legislators like him to protect the poor and minority communities in New York because everyone’s human dignity matters.
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.