What You Should Know

Ruben Diaz

June 21, 2012

What You Should Know

By State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York


My Vote against Peter Rivera for New York State Labor Commissioner

When a person is elected to a public office to protect and defend the poor and the needy, and instead that person creates a collection agency to harass and scare the same constituents he is supposed to defend and protect, when his constituents receive scary and threatening letters because they are not able to pay their bills, when that elected official just makes money from what he or she collects and hides his or her interests in the company so he can go back at election time and asks the same people to vote for him, that person deserves not only to be rejected by the voters, but should not be rewarded with a Commissioner’s post or any other post.

You should know that there are many reasons why I should be happy, excited and overwhelmed with Assemblyman Peter Rivera being named as the New York State Labor Commissioner. First, Assemblyman Peter Rivera is a Puerto Rican like me. Second, he is someone that I have known since 1975 when I was a student at Lehman College in Bronx County. Third, in 1992 it was only Jose Rivera, Anna York and I who took Peter Rivera by the hand, knocked on doors for him, hung posters for him, let him use my campaign truck with music, and did everything possible to get him elected as a State Assemblyman. Fourth, Assemblyman Peter Rivera is an elected official who represents the district where I reside and the district that I represent in the New York State Senate.

You should know that those same reasons that should make me happy, excited and overwhelmed, are the same reasons that compelled me to be the only State Senator who voted against Assemblyman Peter Rivera’s nomination to become the New York State Labor Commissioner.

It is well known that no Senator goes against a governor’s nomination and no Senator votes against what the governor wants. But as you know, this is not the first time that I have been the only Senator who stood proudly on the Senate floor and voted no.

I was the only Democratic Senator that stood on the Senate floor and voted against Same Sex Marriage. I was the only Democratic Senator that stood up on the Senate floor and spoke against the Governor’s budget because it was oppressive, it cut services to the poor and it hurt the needy in our communities, especially senior citizens. I was one of only two Democratic Senators to vote against it. The other one was Senator Tom Duane.

You should know that my voice, my career and my life have always been to protect senior citizens, the needy and the voiceless. When I hear that an elected official is taking advantage of his constituents and is part of a company that sends scary letters and takes away the resources of senior citizens and the poor because they have not paid their bills, I believe that the elected official should not be part of the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly, or any elected body, and that is why I proudly voted against the nomination of Assemblyman Peter Rivera.

I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.