Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance Meeting

Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance Meeting

By Robert Press

Monday night was the second in person Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance meeting. The scheduled guest Republican 13th City Council candidate Aleksander Mici was a no show, but it was good that State Senator Gustavo Rivera stopped in to say hello. Senator Rivera became the guest speaker, and filled in very well as he was grilled by VNNA Executive Board members and members of the audience on the recent No Cash Bail Law.

Senator Rivera started his talk about his endorsement of a Single Payer Health Plan, which he said all the bills would be paid by the state, not insurance companies as presently is done. He added that everyone would have the same plan no matter who they were including himself. The discussion then turned to the controversial issue of the No Cash Bail Law. Senator Rivera defended the bill, bringing up that poor people were kept in jail for minor crimes, while rich people like Harvey Weinstein made bail no matter how large it was and were out of jail on bail. He added that people in jail are innocent until proven guilty. There was pushback from the audience, that people who commit crimes are right back out on the streets, and they know that and keep committing crimes. 

Senator Rivera ended by saying to Mr. Sammy Ravelo, one of his constituents, that he represents 330,000 people, you (Sammy) may disagree with me, but I still respect your position on the issue. The senator also said that he voted for Marriage Equality, and that some churches refused to invite him to events in their churches because of his vote. 

The VNNA will be having a fall festival on Saturday October 23, 2021 at the Van Nest Park located at Van Nest Avenue and Unionport Road from 12 – 4 PM. 

Senator Rivera talking to the audience about the Single Payer Health Plan.
Senator responds to a question by VNNA President Bernadette Ferrara, with VNNA Vice Sharlene Jackson-Mendez.
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