WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Hispanic Legislators: Put Up or Shut Up
You should know that since the last presidential election, the Hispanic vote proved to be crucial throughout the nation, with the Democratic Party being its biggest beneficiary.
Here in New York State, especially in the City of New York, the Hispanic population is growing at such a dynamic pace that any candidates for any public office, let it be City Council, Borough President, Member of the Assembly, Senator, Member of Congress, Mayor, and Governor cannot ignore this fact. I am not afraid to say that without the Hispanic vote, it will almost be impossible for any Governor to win in this state. However, with all that influence, we are always being taken for granted. People use our pain and suffering just to promote their agendas and to get our sympathy – and then later play dumb with us.
You should know that in the next few weeks, the Budget for New York State will come before us in Albany for a vote of approval. You should also know there are all kinds of politicians, including many Hispanic leaders and elected officials promoting the Dream Act legislation. Many of them are sending press releases on a daily basis telling the whole world how much they love and care for our immigrant population. In their press releases, they ask Governor Andrew Cuomo to help our immigrant students and to include the Dream Act legislation in this year’s Budget.
What you dear readers should know is that our “distinguished” elected officials know very well that the Governor will not, and I repeat, WILL NOT include the Dream Act in his Budget. With their press releases and public posturing these “distinguished” elected officials are trying to show that they support the immigrants, and that they want the Dream Act now. But, you should know that sometimes and somehow I get the impression that they are just putting on a show with no action to back it up.
You should know that there are six Hispanic Senators in the Senate, and close to fifteen Hispanic Members of the Assembly. If they really want to fight for the Dream Act and if they honestly want it to be part of the Budget, then let all of the Hispanic legislators – let all of us in the Senate and in the Assembly – come together and take a vote that we will not vote for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget – none of it – not one single part of it – unless it includes the Dream Act. Let the Governor pass the Budget without the Hispanic vote, and let us show our repudiation of him and his Budget plan of ignoring the immigrants.
Now that we are preparing of the yearly event “Somos el Futuro,” let’s once and for all show our community that we really ARE the future. Let’s show our community that Governor Andrew Cuomo or anybody else cannot continue playing the game of ignoring us – and then invite us to his mansion and with a breakfast or a dinner, think that he can buy our commitment and forsake our responsibility to our community. Otherwise we will just continue to be not the “Future”, but instead “Somos the puppets.”
Here in Albany, our votes are the only things that we really have to protect, to fight and to defend our community. Voting for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget without the Dream Act being included, will only be just another act of hypocrisy.
This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.