New York will have its primaries tomorrow. The Bronx has only Democratic primaries because there is no Republican party, or any other major party. Some might believe that to be a good thing, but in reality that is one of the reasons that the Bronx has been stifled for so long.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for a Republican revival in the Bronx. I’m simply expressing an opinion that to a large degree the lack of a challenge to the Democratic process in the Bronx has hurt us. The Democrats who have been in power for so long here have basically abused their power to either help themselves, help their families, of help special interest that in many cases are not the main interest of the people in the Borough.
Every time that someone has tried to challenge any incumbent they faced major uphill battles. The process of collecting petitions to be a candidate, legal challenges to those petitions, to having underfunded campaigns. If they survived that process they then have to deal with the fact that Election Day is where many of these races are lost even before the first ballot is cast. Bottom line, the Bronx political process would make some third world elections look mundane.
Enter Maximino Rivera a resident for over 45 years and an activist, organizer for the majority of those years. Maxi is a retired postal worker with a pension and a partial disability from the Vietnam War. Maxi should be fishing in Florida with his family instead he decided to run for Assembly in the 84th Assembly District against the incumbent of 19 years Ms. Carmen Arroyo. In fact he is running against three additional forces, candidate Charles Serrano, a former police officer, the Bronx Democratic County Committee and her daughter, City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo who is pulling all stops to keep her mother in office.
Maxi’s petitions were challenged and if not for the excellent legal representation he had he would have been off the ballot and today Ms. Arroyo would once again be running unnapposed.
Once Maxi was certified as a candidate the ground support for him began to swell like a stream turning into a river. One factor that the Bronx Democratic Committee does not understand is that the biggest “machine” is not their organization, but the majority of the community; the people they pretend to represent are the real power of the Bronx political system. Maxi’s campaign has reached out to that forgotten frustrated community and has given many of them hope that there could be a positive change with a person like him representing them.
Tomorrow September 13 is Election Day. Today I am urging every voter in the 84 Assembly District to come out and vote for Maximino Rivera. I urge all of you who might not live in the district, but might have friends, or family here to contact them and encourage them to come out and vote for an alternative, Maxi Rivera.
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