Rubén Díaz, Jr.

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This article is about the Bronx Borough President. For his father, a New York State Senator, see Rubén Díaz, Sr..
Rubén Díaz, Jr.
Rubén Díaz, Jr., 2012.jpg
Díaz in 2012
13th Borough President of The Bronx
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 22, 2009
Preceded by Adolfo Carrión, Jr.
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 85th district
In office
1997–2009
Preceded by Pedro G. Espada
Succeeded by Marcos Crespo
Personal details
Born (1973-04-26) April 26, 1973 (age 41)
Bronx, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Hilda Gerena Díaz
Alma mater Lehman College
Profession Elected Official
Religion Christianity[citation needed]

Rubén Díaz, Jr. (born April 26, 1973) is the current President of the Borough of the Bronx in New York City, USA. He was elected in April 2009 and previously served in the New York State Assembly.

Early life[edit]

Díaz's parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico, and he was born and received his primary and secondary education in the Bronx. He graduated first from LaGuardia Community College, then Lehman College with a Bachelor's degree in political theory.[1]

Díaz's father Rubén Díaz, Sr. is a New York State Senator and formerly served in the New York City Council. Contrary to the pattern in New York in which children follow parents into elected office,[citation needed] it was Ruben Díaz Jr. who was first elected to office five years before his father’s election to the New York City Council.

Díaz lives in the southeast Bronx with his wife Hilda and their two sons.

New York State Assembly[edit]

Díaz was elected to the Assembly at the age of twenty-three, which made him the youngest person elected to the legislative body since Theodore Roosevelt.[2]

While in the Assembly, Díaz sponsored, co-sponsored and passed legislation addressing health care,[3] public records access,[4][5] minimum wage and overtime pay,[6] environmental protection,[7][8][9] equitable labor standards,[10] insurance fraud,[11] tenants rights,[12] transparency and disclosure in all environmental impact statements,[13] pedestrian safety,[11][14] school bus safety,[15][16][17] protection from tax preparers,[18][19][20] Senior Citizens rights,[21] wider access to the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program,[22] and the regulation and accountability of gas and electric companies.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

A member of the Assembly Education Committee, Díaz has been outspoken on educational issues. He has addressed the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC)[29] and praised the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's (CFE) efforts to protect the constitutional right to a basic education.[3][30][31] In 2003, when Governor George Pataki sought to cut the State's higher education budget, Díaz was a vocal critic of this plan and, together with other state legislators, was able to restore funding for some of the Governor's proposed cuts.[32][33]

Díaz has legislated on behalf of Brownfield Cleanup and Green Roof Tax Abatement,[34][35] worked to restore the Bronx River which runs through the 85th Assembly District, and opposed environmental racism.[7][8][9][36]

In September 2007, he was named one of City Hall's "40 under 40" for being a young influential member of New York City politics.[37]

Amadou Diallo[edit]

On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo, a young African immigrant, was killed by four New York City police officers who fired 41 unanswered rounds at him.[38] Since the shooting occurred in his South Bronx district, Díaz became an advocate and organizer for the Diallo family.[39] Through a series of public appearances, hearings, press conferences and massive public demonstrations,[40] Díaz led a city-wide protest which drew national media attention.[41][42] Díaz marched together with Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, actress Susan Sarandon, dozens of rabbis and other clergy, and was arrested for his peaceful protest.[43][44] As a result, Díaz became known for his support of civil and human rights.[40][45][46][47][48]

The Rainbow Rebels[edit]

In summer 2008, Díaz became a founding member of a progressive civic and political group known as the "Rainbow Rebels", who achieved sudden and widespread popularity throughout the Bronx County of New York.[49]

On August 22, 2008, the Rainbow Rebels made their first official announcement: Díaz joined with two of his Assembly colleagues Carl Heastie and Michael Benjamin, both Democratic African Americans, and with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of Riverdale and his powerful Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, to promote the candidacy of Elizabeth Taylor for a Civil Court judgeship.[50] On September 9, 2008, Taylor won the Democratic primary for the judgeship, despite opposition from the Bronx County Leader, Jose Rivera (politician), and the Bronx political machine known as "County".[51]

On September 28, 2008, at the Bronx County Committee meeting, the Rainbow Rebels won another significant victory by replacing the Bronx County Leader José Rivera with Assemblyman Carl Heastie.

Bronx Borough President[edit]

On February 18, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. to the position of Director of the White House Office on Urban Affairs.[52] When Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a special election to choose his successor,[52] Díaz was considered the leading candidate for the position.[52][53]

The special election was held on April 21, 2009. Díaz defeated the Republican Party candidate Anthony Ribustello with an overwhelming 87% of the vote, to become the 13th Borough President of the Bronx.[54]

On July 1, 2009, Díaz appointed Delores Fernandez to the reconstituted New York City Board of Education. Fernandez is anticipated to be the sole member of the Board who will have a perspective independent of the mayor, Michael Bloomberg.[55][56] Díaz ended his first summer as borough president by recommending that the New York City Council reject Related Companies' proposal to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall. In an editorial in the New York Daily News, Díaz wrote that he is "fighting to make sure that this development includes 'living wage' jobs that offer health insurance". Related's proposal is still[when?] going through the city's review process.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cuny.edu/about/trustees/hearings/bronx/diaz.html
  2. ^ "Ruben Diaz Jr., A Bronx Tale". Ruben Diaz Jr., A Bronx Tale. Urban Latino. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Assemblyman/Asambleísta Rubén Díaz Jr. Reports to the People/Informa al pueblo - Summer/Verano 2006
  4. ^ Bill A00405
  5. ^ Needle in a Haystack: FOIL's Subject Matter List Requirement: Are Agencies Complying?
  6. ^ Assemblyman Diaz - SUMMER 2004 News
  7. ^ a b Bill A01577. New York State Assembly.
  8. ^ a b Bill A01578. New York State Assembly.
  9. ^ a b Bill A01579. New York State Assembly.
  10. ^ Bill A01470. New York State Assembly.
  11. ^ a b Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. Winter 2005 Newsletter
  12. ^ Bill A00859. New York State Assembly.
  13. ^ Bill A00688. New York State Assembly.
  14. ^ Lovett, Kenneth (October 4, 2005). "Bill Takes Bite Out of Dog Owners". New York Post. 
  15. ^ Smith, Greg B. (March 28, 2007). "School bus disgrace spurs Assembly panel to OK cams". New York Daily News. 
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ Gearty, Robert (March 28, 2007). "Fix Bus Mess: Pols; Council, Assembly, and Senate Bills Address Student Horrors". New York Daily News. 
  18. ^ Bill A01664. New York State Assembly.
  19. ^ [2][dead link]
  20. ^ Assemblyman/Asambleísta Rubén Díaz Jr. Reports to the People/Informa al pueblo - Summer/Verano 2006
  21. ^ Protecting the Bronx’s Elderly
  22. ^ News from Assemblyman Rubén Díaz, Jr. - Summer 2003
  23. ^ Bill A01554. New York State Assembly.
  24. ^ Bill A01556. New York State Assembly.
  25. ^ Bill A01557. New York State Assembly.
  26. ^ Bill A01595. New York State Assembly.
  27. ^ Bill A01597. New York State Assembly.
  28. ^ Bill A01672. New York State Assembly.
  29. ^ Ruben Diaz, Jr. Audio CD
  30. ^ Keeping the Promise to New York City's School Children
  31. ^ Assemblyman/Asambleísta Rubén Díaz Jr. Reports to the People/Informa al pueblo - Summer/Verano 2007
  32. ^ Arenson, Karen W. (February 12, 2003). "Democrats in Albany Vow to Fight Pataki's Cuts in Higher Education". New York Times. 
  33. ^ News from Assemblyman Rubén Díaz, Jr. - Summer 2003
  34. ^ Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. Announces Passage Of Green Roof Tax Abatement Legislation | Room Eight
  35. ^ Assemblyman/Asambleísta Rubén Díaz Jr. Reports to the People/Informa al pueblo - Summer/Verano 2008
  36. ^ [3][dead link]
  37. ^ Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Ruben Diaz Jr., City & State, September 17, 2007.
  38. ^ Cooper, Michael (February 5, 1999). "Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, And an Unarmed Man Is Killed". New York Times. 
  39. ^ Feuer, Alan (February 26, 2002). "Signs of Hope in the Bronx Neighborhood Where Diallo Died". New York Times. 
  40. ^ a b Hicks, Jonathan (February 6, 1999). "After Fatal Shooting, Bronx Assemblyman Emerges as a Critic of the Police". New York Times. 
  41. ^ Flynn, Kevin (February 8, 1999). "Police Killing Draws National Notice". New York Times. 
  42. ^ Mahoney, Joe (January 31, 2000). "Amadou Diallo Murder Trial Starts Today". New York Daily News. 
  43. ^ Kappstatter, Bob (March 24, 1999). "Pols Vow to Defy Rudy Ferrer, Dems Rip Mayor". New York Daily News. 
  44. ^ Thompson, Ginger (February 8, 1999). "1,000 Rally to Condemn Shooting of Unarmed Man by Police". New York Times. 
  45. ^ Martinez, Jose (February 4, 2002). "Remembering Diallo Vigil to Mark 3rd anniversary of his Death". New York Daily News. 
  46. ^ Egbert, Bill (February 4, 2003). "Street Where Diallo Died Being Named for him Today". New York Daily News. 
  47. ^ Martinez, Jose (November 15, 2000). "Diallo Dad Presses Quest: Gets Three Months to Buy Home Where Cops Killed Son". New York Daily News. 
  48. ^ Lombardi, Frank (August 1, 2002). "Diallo Dad Lauds Mike for New Street Name". New York Daily News. 
  49. ^ Kappstatter, Bob (August 21, 2008). "Four more Bronx Democrats join battle to topple chairman Jose Rivera". New York Daily News. 
  50. ^ Hicks, Jonathan (August 22, 2008). "Bronx Democrats Split on Judicial Race". New York Times. 
  51. ^ Kappstatter, Bob (September 10, 2008). "Rebel Faction Trounces Dem Organization in Early Bronx Contests". New York Daily News. 
  52. ^ a b c Kappstatter, Bob (February 18, 2009). "Bronx Beep Bound for D.C.". New York Daily News. 
  53. ^ Kratz, Alex (March 19, 2009). "Ruben Diaz, Jr. All But Locks Up Borough Presidency". Norwood News. 
  54. ^ Lee, Trymaine (April 22, 2009). "Borough Voters Elect Díaz as New Borough President". New York Times. 
  55. ^ Neidl, Phoebe (July 1, 2009). "Mayoral Control Expires: Brooklyn’s Carlo Scissura Appointed to ‘Temporary’ Board of Education". Brooklyn Eagle. 
  56. ^ Hernandez, Javier C. (July 2, 2009). "Senate Impasse Forces City to Revive Old School Board, in Name". The New York Times. 
  57. ^ Ruiz, Albor (September 10, 2009). "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to Related: Buck stops here". New York Daily News. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Pedro G. Espada
New York State Assembly, 75th District
1997–2002
Succeeded by
Richard Gottfried
Preceded by
Ronald Tocci
New York State Assembly, 85th District
2003–2009
Succeeded by
Marcos Crespo
Political offices
Preceded by
Adolfo Carrión, Jr.
Bronx Borough President
April 2009–present
Incumbent