WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Time to Retire for Some Members of Congress
You should know that there are some people who believe that the time has come to inject new blood, energy and ideas into the United States Congress.
In the City of New York, there are some Members of Congress who, according to some people, have been serving for too long. Here is a list of the entire New York Congressional Delegation:
Gary Ackerman, elected to Congress in 1983, has served 29 years.
Yvette Clarke, elected to Congress in 2006, has served 6 years.
Joseph Crowley, elected to Congress in 1998, has served 14 years.
Eliot Engel, elected to Congress in 1988, has served 24 years.
Michael Grimm, elected to Congress in 2009, has served 2 years.
Carolyn Maloney, elected to Congress in 1992, has served 20 years.
Gregory Meeks, elected to Congress in 1998, has served 14 years.
Jerrold Nadler, elected to Congress in 1992, has served 20 years.
Charles Rangel, elected to Congress 1970, has served 42 years.
José Serrano, elected to Congress in 1990, has served 22 years.
Edolphus Towns, elected to Congress in 1982, has served 20 years.
Robert Turner, elected to Congress in 2011, has served 1 year.
Nydia Velázquez, elected to Congress in 1992, has served 20 years.
Imagine the millions and millions of Congressional dollars that have been poured into the New York City districts for all those years.
We should all be living like kings and queens. But in all of those years, we in the City of New York, continue to see a decrease in affordable housing with more people living in homeless shelters; services for the growing number of senior citizens continue to be cut; the number of children who cannot read at grade level and cannot graduate from high school in 4 years continues to grow; more and more New Yorkers rely upon food pantries to feed their families; people with illness and disabilities continue to suffer as medical services continue to be cut; gun violence remains on the rise; etc. etc.
This situation is at a point where some Members of New York’s Congressional Delegation have finally decided to retire and let new blood take over. Apparently, not all of them will voluntarily open the door to leave and allow for new blood to come in, and as such, new blood is forcing them to retire.
Here comes Hakeem Jeffries: an energized, eloquent, well-spoken young African American from Brooklyn who has effectively sent a message to incumbent Ed Towns that if he doesn’t retire, he will make him retire in an election. Apparently Congressman Towns saw the writing on the wall and has announced his retirement.
Congressman Gary Ackerman, also read the writing on the wall (and maybe read his horoscope) and has decided that it’s time for him to hang it up.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat has been sending a message to Congressman Charles Rangel that after 42 years in Congress (and at 80 years of age) he should retire and enjoy the rest of his life.
In response, Charlie Rangel must have thought Adriano Espaillat was bluffing and said, “Come on. Take me on.”
Now, Adriano Espaillat, energized with his comunnity’s support and the backing of Oscar de la Renta, has a new look. Espaillat is now dressing like a movie star - has changed his wardrobe, hairdo, shoes and cologne - and is on his way to forcing Charlie Rangel into retirement.
There is another young man from Brooklyn who is trying to force Nydia Velázquez into retirement: Erik Martin Dilan, the son of New York State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
Erik has the support of many who believe that Nydia Velázquez should just go back to Puerto Rico and join the Popular Party and all of her cronies in continuing their push to keep Puerto Rico a colony of the United States and leave the Brooklyn Congressional seat to new blood.
Here in the Bronx, we are stuck with Congressmen José Serrano and Eliot Engel. My advice to Congressman Serrano, Open your eyes and look around you at all of the young people who surrounding you in Bronx County who hunger and thirst for new Congressional blood.
He should really start planning his retirement before he is forced into it.
At the same time, José Rivera, Carmen Arroyo and I might also start looking around and planning our good-byes … but not before José Serrano does because his time is long overdue.
I am Senator Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.