What You Should Know

Ruben Diaz

May 31, 2013


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

Tel. 718-991-3161


Kudos to Christine Quinn!

You should know that while the ongoing battle in New York City about the marine transfer station for New York’s garbage on East 91stt Street has been heating up, Council Speaker and Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn has been holding her ground that the location for that garbage facility should not be changed.

Several years ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided that since garbage is produced by all New Yorkers, a citywide plan would be implemented so each borough could collect and dispense its own garbage.

You should know that I have strongly supported any efforts to share these responsibilities so most of the garbage in New York will no longer be dumped exclusively in the South Bronx and poorer neighborhoods in the City. Although Christine Quinn is not my choice for candidate in the upcoming Mayoral election, I applaud her for calling any opposition to the Upper East Side trash station what it is: environmental racism.

We all know that the South Bronx has the highest rate of asthma in the United States, and it has also been the dumping ground for waste facilities. Pollution from garbage treatment facilities along with the pollution from the diesel fuel and truck exhaust have been, in fact, killing our people, and causing our community – who just happen to be mostly Black and Hispanic – to suffer just to breathe.

We are just so sick and tired of people dumping on the South Bronx. Every neighborhood produces garbage and every neighborhood should take care of their own garbage.

I salute Christine Quinn for her comments that were shared in today’s New York Daily News: "Anybody who isn't...supporting the 91st St. facility is standing for raising asthma rates in places like Williamsburg and the South Bronx. You can't always have it both ways. And you can't have it both ways in this case - you're either for reducing asthma rates in low income communities of color by getting trucks off the road, or you're not. It's that simple.”

I cannot understand why there are no other Mayoral Candidates who support a garbage station in a community as affluent as the one on East 91st Street. Do these other candidates believe that less fortunate New Yorkers are more deserving to host garbage stations in their neighborhoods than people who live in the Silk Stocking District?

My message to my Black and Hispanic colleagues – and to all Mayoral Candidates – is Don’t Keep Quiet! Affluent communities in New York City should not get a break. All communities in New York City should share a proportionate responsibility of disposing their own garbage.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to know that environmental racism will only come to an end when we come together and let it happen. The time is now.

This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.