The Uptown Current Endorses Adriano Espaillat for Congress

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Primary day has finally arrived, and on Tuesday June 24th we hope you vote, and we hope you select Adriano Espaillat as your next Congressman.

Many parts of New York's 13th Congressional District, particularly Washington Heights and Inwood, have been routinely ignored by Charles Rangel. State Senator Adriano Espaillat offers a fresh progressive vision for our district, and will deliver on long overdue issues that affect the nation.

Since his 2010 censure Mr. Rangel has been left impotent in Washington, and has proven incapable of passing necessary legislation. He has a frayed relationship with President Obama, a dearth of influential allies in the house and has fallen out of favor entirely among his colleagues. Furthermore, as evidenced by his catering to Wall Street and corporate elites, Rangel has proven to be behind the times with the recent progressive shifts across this city. New York City, long a haven for fierce progressive fighters, needs a representative that will stand strong in fending off the corporate interests, stand up to the natural gas industry and deliver on quality, decent paying jobs.

Mr. Espaillat's vision for economic reform is especially needed in Washington, where many, including our current representative, have created loopholes for Wall Street and the wealthy. Mr. Espaillat wants to end this by creating opportunities for minority and women owned businesses, bringing the new wave of participatory budgeting to the old Harlem boys club of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and reversing the trend of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

His opposition to hydraulic fracturing is also something missing in D.C. Our current representative, like many at the federal level, believes that hydrofracking is acceptable, however New Yorkers have repeatedly rejected the idea that putting our watershed and environment at risk for the sake of lining the pockets of oil companies is okay. Mr. Espaillat saw first hand the ills wrought by hydrofracking on trips he organized with environmental advocates to the ground zero of this industry. He knows that the country should move renewable and sustainable energy alternatives, and having Mr. Espaillat in Washington down the line will be crucial when energy policy reform inevitably comes to the table.

Mr. Espaillat has been a vocal supporter of safer streets, and better transportation alternatives even before Vision Zero became a priority in New York City. Along with Council Member Mark Levine he led the effort to bring Select Bus Service to 125th Street. Just yesterday, he cast a key vote to lower citywide speed limits across the city, putting pedestrian safety first. He enjoys a strong working relationship with City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez as both have called for the expansion of the NYC Bike Share program to finally arrive uptown.

His record on immigration reform, and his efforts to improve the quality of life for immigrants have been consistent and fierce. With an unstopping pressure mounting for more progressive policies on immigration at the national level, Mr. Espaillat's efforts in our district will be an asset that few others in congress will ever have. His work in passing in state tuition for immigrant children in New York State--with a Republican led senate no less--is exactly what we need nationally. This leadership, and his groundbreaking identity as a former undocumented immigrant himself, will serve to highlight the inhumanity of our mass deportation policy, directly to the president's ears.

Mr. Espaillat has pledged to bring more money for Medicaid and healthcare programs into the district from Washington. He has pledged to fight for increases to the amount of Federally Qualified Health Centers in the 13th Congressional District, to ensure providers are multilingual and sensitive to the diversity of the district. His attention to the extremely high child asthma rates in Northern Manhattan is also commendable, and he will seek federal grant money for research and prevention of asthma rates uptown.

This is an extremely important election for our district, and has the potential to drastically change and improve our representation in the decade to come. We need a congressman who will serve all communities in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, and one with the will to do so. This community is brimming with potential and it is time for a new voice to help us realize just what we are capable of.

Polls open at 6am, and close at 9pm. Pick a time of day to vote now, and then vote for Adriano Espaillat this Tuesday, June 24th.

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