Dateline September 14, 2017
While some say it's to early to call it a victory, the results are in and Diana Ayala seems to have won the election in this, the 8th Councilmanic District, to be the new City Council Member. But the opposition camp is not ready to make any concession speech just yet, and they may be justified in not doing so. According to the City & State website "the outcome was unclear with just a 122-vote margin for Ayala over Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez".
This race is far too close to call right now, and it is premature for anyone to declare a victory,” he said. “There are still ballots left to be counted, and we want to make sure each voter has their voice heard.
Assemblyman, Robert Rodriquez, who mounted a formidable campaign challenge is not ready to call it quits. He stands his ground and states that there are still to many ballots left to be counted for anyone to be making any victory speech.
While this local election is still uncertain, what is certain is the devastation being wreaked upon this nation, especially as it affects this mostly Latino community here in El Barrio/East Harlem and other similar communities, i.e. Washington Heights, South Bronx, etc. Donald Trumps latest attack on President Obama's legacy is relentless. With his move to undo DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) he will unsettle many families in our community. What will the new Councilman do to ameliorate this situation given that many are already facing a myriad of issues.
And speaking of issues, what about this rampant Gentrification? How did that happen and why is it not being slowed down?
In 1994 I got married and in 2000 left El Barrio. We moved to Washington, DC. then to Virginia, to Princeton, NJ, to Trenton, to York, PA and finally this year in April I got back home to El Barrio. While certain things remained the same, one thing that was blatant was the gentrification. I'm all for progress, but not at the expense of the poor and helpless. I remember when this community was inundated with drugs and ravished by crime. I remember when the community fought back to get a grip on itself. I also remember when the "gentry" did not dare to cross north of 96th street, when the media painted this community as crime infested, gang ridden and all but hopeless. Now back home after 17 years in absentia I see beautifully built or renovated buildings with rental prices way beyond what the lifelong residents of this community could ever hope to afford.
The problem with elected officials is that they make promises they know they can not keep. In my way of thinking it would be better if they were honest and said they would try their best to do XYZ or that they would do their best to ensure that XYZ was ..., instead they say things like I will... and things like when I'm your elected official you can always come to me with your issues. They can not do everything for everyone. It's humanly impossible but they continue to say those things and then when they can not deliver and the constituents get upset they wonder why.
Well to the victor go the spoils. Whatever mess the 8th Councilmanic District is in the newly elected Councilman, er Councilperson, will have to deal with it. Just like any new projects that where left in the pipeline they will get credit for.
There really is no need to fret, El Barrio has always had issues and will always have them. It's just as the community changes so to do those issues.
This summer when the threat to stop the music at La Placita in La Marqueta was tauted, the community was at an uproar. Next summer if the music at La Placita in La Marqueta is actuated there may be more community uproar, but this time it will not be to keep the music playing. It may be an uproar from those new arrivals to El Barrio -- the gentry, raising a ruckus because those strange sounds are disturbing their peace.