Diana Ayala y Robert Rodríguez, candidatos en esta contienda, se han hecho acusaciones mutuas previo a las votaciones que se llevarán a cabo el 12 de septiembre.
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As a result of term limits, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will leave the council at the end of 2017. A fierce primary battle among Democrats is raging to fill the eighth council district seat, which not only encompasses East Harlem but also parts of the South Bronx. Errol Louis moderates a debate between the three leading candidates in that primary: Robert Rodriguez, the state assemblyman for part of the area; small business owner Tamika Mapp; and Diana Ayala, a longtime community leader who is a former staff member to Mark-Viverito.
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Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Speaker of the City Council, is term-limited and leaving office at the end of this year, which, aside from indicating that there will be a new leader of the Council, means her position representing the Council’s 8th District is “open.”
Since 2005, Mark-Viverito has represented the district, which includes East Harlem and parts of the South Bronx. New York State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, whose district encompasses much of District 8, and Diana Ayala, a former Mark-Viverito staffer who the speaker has endorsed as her preferred successor, are in a highly competetive race for the seat.
Ayala, 43, has appeared at multiple campaign events alongside her former boss, for whom she was constituent services director and deputy chief of staff. Mark-Viverito has also been door-knocking in the district with Ayala, attempting to use her name recognition to boost Ayala’s, which is far behind Rodriguez’s given his stature as an elected official.
Several other electeds from the area have endorsed Ayala, too. These include Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressional Rep. Adriano Espaillat, and City Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Ritchie Torres, and Annabel Palma of the Bronx.
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Una nueva generación de políticas latinas intenta tomar el manto de las cuatro concejales hispanas que dejarán el Concejo Municipal a fin de año.
La Ciudad de Nueva York podría quedarse sin concejales latinas en 2018.
Actualmente hay cuatro miembros mujeres del cuerpo legislativo municipal las que por diferentes razones dejarán el cargo a fin de año.
Cuatro candidatas latinas al Concejo Municipal nos cuentan los obstáculos que enfrentan: Diana Ayala, Marjorie Velázquez, Amanda Farias y Carlina Rivera.
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Al acercarse las elecciones municipales de 2017, Diana Ayala se dio cuenta de una cosa:
"Wow! Nos vamos a quedar sin mujeres en el Concejo Municipal y nos vamos a quedar sin mujeres latinas", dijo Ayala.
Después de trabajar durante más de una década para la presidenta del Concejo Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ayala decidió presentar su candidatura a sucederla.
Ni Ayala ni Velázquez tienen el respaldo del Partido Demócrata de El Bronx, liderado por el asambleísta Marcos Crespo... apoyo institucional, en ocasiones, de vital importancia.
"No todo el mundo tiene la experiencia política, ¿verdad? so entonces uno mira al que uno considera que es el experto, ¿verdad?", explicó Ayala.
La presidenta del Concejo Mark-Viverito señaló por su lado: "Me deprime la idea como feminista, como mujer que sabe que tenemos capacidad, de no tener esa representación en el Concejo Municipal".
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Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Annabel Palma, and Ritchie Torres Endorse Diana Ayala
Today, Democratic council candidate Diana Ayala received endorsements from Bronx City Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Annabel Palma, and Ritchie Torres. These three represent the full Puerto Rican Council delegation from the Bronx.
“I’ve seen Diana Ayala’s commitment to the Bronx first-hand. She’s got the experience and the toughness to deliver for our borough. During my time on the Council, I’ve always stood up for working people. I need partners like Diana to continue these fights, which is why I’m enthusiastically supporting her for City Council,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca.
“Diana is one of the most committed and involved community leaders I’ve seen in our City. She’s overcome tough odds in her life and in her career in public service to deliver for the Bronx. She’s built an outstanding participatory budgeting operation, taken on the synthetic marijuana crisis plaguing her community, and delivered much-needed resources time and again. She’s not afraid to take on difficult fights to give a voice to our borough in the Council, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse Diana Ayala for City Council,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
“The New York City Council has been beacon for progressive values–standing up for immigrant rights, worker rights, and social justice causes. I know what it takes for a Latina on the Council to lead these tough fights, and Diana has the skill and the dedication to be a champion for working families and seniors. I look forward to working closely with Diana in the coming years to continue this important work,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.
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From her teenage years, Diana Ayala’s life was marked by adversity. However, she had the fortitude to fight and overcome it and apply her experience to public service.
After almost two decades working in social services agencies and local government, Ayala recently announced that she will run to represent New York City Council District 8. First, though, she will have to win the Democratic primary, to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The seat is being left vacant by current Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has reached the term limit allowed by law and cannot seek re-election.
[Editor’s note: As of June 11, there were six other Democratic candidates running for the seat, according to Gotham Gazette.]
The priorities of Ayala’s political platform are housing, public safety, combating gun violence and caring for seniors.
“My campaign proposal focuses on the issue of housing. It has been and continues to be one of my priorities for my community – both the South Bronx and El Barrio – during the years I have worked alongside Melissa Mark-Viverito,” said Ayala in an interview with El Diario.
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Deputy Chief of Staff to Council Speaker earns support of top Bronx Democrat in race for 8th Council District
Diaz endorsement burnishes Democrat Ayala’s growing coalition of support, comes after recent WFP and Progressive Caucus nod
THE BRONX, N.Y. – Democratic candidate for New York City Council Diana Ayala has gained a considerable new level of support with the endorsement of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. in the race for the 8th Council District, a seat encompassing neighborhoods in both Manhattan and the Bronx. This comes as Ayala’s bid to become the Democratic nominee in the September primary continues to build momentum off a recent endorsement by the Council’s leading progressives, and strong fundraising results in this week’s filing.
“I am endorsing Diana Ayala for City Council because she is a tough, tireless fighter,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “During her decades of public service in her community and with the Speaker’s office, Diana Ayala has proven that she has what it takes to fight for our working families in the Bronx and in East Harlem. Her work expanding neighborhood amenities for our seniors, fighting to improve quality of life and giving every family the tools to live a better life make her the right choice to for the City Council.”
“It’s an honor to have the endorsement of Borough President Diaz,” said Democratic candidate Diana Ayala. “On every issue facing the Bronx, Borough President Diaz has brought a level of passion, expertise and accountability that has always stood out for me. I look forward to following his example as our next Council Member in El Barrio and the South Bronx.”
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Diana has received early endorsements from the City Council's Progressive Caucus Alliance (PCA) as well as Make the Road Action (MRA). These organizations recognized Diana for her dedication to progressive values, along with two other women candidates, Carlina Rivera and Marjorie Velazquez.
In an event on the steps of City Hall last week, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joined Council Members Brad Lander, Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso, Ben Kallos and Jumaane Williams in unveiling the PCA and MRA endorsements.