WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Is Governor Cuomo Taking New York City For Granted?
You should know that on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded $715.9 million in Economic Development Funding through the third round of his Regional Economic Development Council initiative. A grand event to announce this multi-million dollar jackpot was held in Albany in the Hart Theatre at the Empire State Plaza. The Master of Ceremonies for this event was none other than Maria Bartiromo, the former television host of “CNBC’s Closing Bell.”
We all know that $715.9 million is a huge sum of money and you might ask: where did all this money go? Let me tell you. The largest prizes were awarded to areas outside of New York City including Long Island that received $83 million, the Capital Region which includes Albany, Warren and Washington Counties, received $82.8 million, the Mohawk Valley, which includes the City of Utica, received $82.4 million, the Southern Tier which includes Elmira, the Town of Margaretville and Delaware County, received slightly under $82 million, and the North Country, which is near the Canadian border and includes Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Watertown, received slightly over $81 million.
Surprise, surprise, by now you must be asking, of that $715.9 million, how much did a Democratic city like New York City receive from a Democratic Governor? Sit down and hold on to your chair, I don’t want you to fall off your chair when you find out how much the City of New York, which includes the Boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island received. We just received only $57.4 million for the five boroughs. And as you and I know, any one of the five boroughs has a larger population than those counties that received more money.
Ladies and Gentleman, our Democratic Governor should know that he is the Governor because of the Democratic voters in New York City. As a matter of fact, the State Comptroller, the Honorable Thomas DiNapoli, the State Attorney General, the Honorable Eric Schneiderman, and the Assembly Speaker, the Honorable Sheldon Silver are all from New York City and hold elected office because of New York City voters.
One could only imagine why a Democratic Governor, who is the head of the New York State Democratic Party, would discriminate against the voters who are the very reason he is the Governor.
What is Governor Cuomo’s message to the voters of the City of New York? Is it “later for you?” Or is it “I don’t need you now; I only need you at election time, when I will come back to you and tell you I am a Democrat like you?” How is it that the largest city in New York State with the largest Police Department and the city that has more children attending its elementary, middle and high schools than the population of many upstate counties combined, was awarded less money than anybody else?
My dear reader, I think that New York City has been taken for granted for too long. I want to make myself clear. I am not pitting Upstate against Downstate. I am aware that Upstate needs as much support and as many services as anybody else. But for the City of New York to receive only $57.4 million out of $715.9 million is too much for me to swallow. I believe that New York City has been discriminated against and taken for granted because I also believe that resources should be awarded based on population and not based on future political plans.
I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.