Bronx Political Round Up: SEIU 32BJ Taps Sepulveda

Sepulveda 4 Senate card (Credit: Michael Benjamin)

Local 32BJ SEIU Union Endorses Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda

Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda added the endorsement of Local 32BJ SEIU to his growing list of supporters in his bid for Senate District 32 in the Southeast Bronx.

The 163,000-member national union, the largest property services union in the nation, cited backing Sepulveda because of his “long track record supporting working people and union rights.”

32BJ president Hector Figueroa said that “We know he will be a voice for working people in the State Senate and we will work with him to stand up for workers, for immigrants and for vulnerable communities that need a voice in Albany.”

Gov. Cuomo is expected shortly to call a special election for mid-April to fill a number of vacant legislative seats, including District 32, recently vacated by Ruben Diaz Sr., who was elected to the New York City Council.

Sepulveda 4 Senate

But Sepulveda Jumps Gun on Bronx Dem Nomination

This week, a local resident in Morrisania reported receiving a campaign flyer citing Sepulveda’s endorsement by the Bronx Democratic party. It’s noteworthy because honchos at the Bronx Democratic party haven’t yet called the required county committee convention to nominate a candidate in the 32nd Senate district. The convention date is rumored to occur in the next 10-14 days.

When asked about his premature election flyer, Sepulveda texted that it was dropped in error. “It was a screw up by the printer.” Sepulveda said it should have read that he was “endorsed by the Bronx Dem chair” Assemblyman Marcos Crespo — whose name is listed fourth. Hmm.

In addition to the flyer, a recent news release touting his 32BJ endorsement cites the Bronx Democratic County Committee as among his endorsers.

“Among those who have endorsed Sepulveda are the Bronx Democratic County Committee, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressman Jose Serrano, State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Jamal Bailey, Assemblymembers Marcos Crespo, Michael Blake and Carmen Arroyo, and City Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson, Ruben Diaz, Sr., Mark Gjonaj and Ritchie Torres.”

As The Bronx Chronicle has previously reported, Sepulveda is putting a full court press on wooing 32SD county committee members. He has reportedly personally visited nearly half of the committee members in the senate district which spans Castle Hill, Parkchester, Soundview, Hunts Point, Longwood, Melrose and Morrisania.

Blake Statement on Black History Month

Assemblyman Michael Blake released a statement on Black History Month:

“This Black History Month, we remind the world that we are a resilient people who shall be celebrated each day of the year not just for a limited time in February or for a few days during Kwanzaa. We choose HOPE over hate, action over anger, excellence over excuses, boilers over blankets, stem cells over jail cells and we are telling our story rather than relying on others to do so for us.

“Our Black History is this World’s History. We cannot grow as a people unless we acknowledge our true lineage; from the birth of our civilization in Africa, to Caribbean destinations such as my beloved Jamaica, to ascending northbound so that we are #BuildingABetterBronx.

“We are the ones we have been waiting for and all we have to do is to examine our origins to realize that our accomplishments are worthy of respect and awe. Let’s begin this Black History month with a commitment to celebrate our past accomplishments and plan for the current and future work required to continue to break down barriers and move our people forward.”

Cuomo, Diaz to Call on Feds to Aid Puerto Rico

On Saturday, Bronx BP Rubén Diaz Jr, joins Gov. Andrew Cuomo in calling on the Federal Government for continued support in Puerto Rico. They will be joined by the island’s Governor Rosselló to show representatives in Washington, D.C. that New York stands with their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The rally begins at 10AM and will take place at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, 928 Simpson Street in the Longwood section of the Bronx.

Pichardo Calls For National Leadership to Address Gun Violence in Schools

Noting that there have already been 11 incidents of gun violence in or around U.S. schools in January, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo called for DC to address the problem. “What has the federal government done in response? Nothing. We’re in crisis, and we need solutions. This is not something we can address state by state – this plague of violence is happening in every corner of this nation. When will national leaders get tired of seeing lives lost and what will it take to spark outrage? It’s time to take a stand for the future of our children,” said Pichardo in a statement.

Schneiderman Plus 15 AGs File Brief in City of Chicago v. Sessions

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is heading a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in a new amicus brief to protect cities and police departments from federal funding cuts, supporting a challenge to the Trump administration’s efforts to punish so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions by putting immigration-related conditions on federal law enforcement grants. In the amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in City of Chicago v. Sessions, the Attorneys General argue that the Trump administration’s conditions on the grant interfere with states’ and localities’ right to set their own law enforcement policies and that the Department of Justice lacks the authority to impose these new conditions. 

“The Trump administration does not have the authority to unilaterally transform state and local police into federal immigration agents – and they cannot punish a locality simply because it won’t comply,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

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