WYSK: Why I Write “What You Should Know”

By Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr.

You should know that The New York City Council’s Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the writing and distribution of my weekly column, which I titled “What You Should Know” (WYSK).

It is important for you to know, my dear reader, why and what motivates me to write this column, which I have done for more than 20 years.

I want you to know that for the past (16) sixteen years, while I served as a New York State Senator, my column was always e-mailed through my Senate email address “Senator Ruben Diaz” Diaz@NYSenate.com. I was never investigated by the Senate’s Ethics Committee for violating the Senates rules and ethics.

I believe that it is my right as an elected official to inform, not only my constituents, but State and City Employees and the general public as a whole about important issues, negotiations, or the antics, and conniving manner in which some things are done, especially those things that have an impact on New York State/City residents.

I strongly believe transparency is of great importance. Therefore, I write on issues that are being done secretly or in a conniving manner, be it intentional or unintentional. I must ensure the people have a full understanding of what is actually being done by their representatives or what impact, if any, these actions may have on their lives. So, I write to inform the public, hence the title “What You Should Know.”

Sometimes, I am compelled to write late at night. When a thought or an issue that I feel you should know comes to mind, my sleep is interrupted, and I wake up in the middle of the night to write on the matter of importance that you should know.

I have never used this column for personal gain or for political purposes. This column has never been used to raise money, nor to endorse, support or ask to vote for any candidate in particular. This column has always been to inform and as a public official to express my position on public issues that are being discussed and may become law.

This column is also a way for me to inform the public on coming activities and planned community events related to education, cultural events, parades, etc.

This column also presents the positions and opinions expressed by other public officials especially if those opinions differ when in private, than those expressed in public. When it comes time to vote some elected officials will vote differently than what they promised in public. This is wrong. Therefore, I will write on it, because I strongly feel that the people we represent have a right to know. If I don’t write on it, the people may never know, and they have a right to know what their legislators are doing.

Once in a while, some in the New York media will comment on the topics covered on “WYSK”, and at times the press have reprinted my column in its entire format.

There are readers of “WYSK” that have given it praise and compliments regarding the topics covered. There are other readers who criticize “WYSK”. But either way, this is great, because it just shows the American way of expressing our right to free speech.

Now I have been in the New York City Council a mere six (6) months and rumor has it that one of my colleagues did not like a “WYSK” and therefore has filed a complaint against me, placing my reputation, integrity, and honesty in question.

The City Council’s Ethics Committee has opened an investigation and the media has written an article reporting that I am under investigation, giving the wrong impression. Some have said that I am being investigated for corruption.

This is unfair, unjust and unnecessary. I sincerely hope that the “Ethics Committee” does the right thing and puts an end to this as soon as possible. I also pray that other members of the City Council will never be put through this kind of situation.

I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is What You Should Know.

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