Pursuing the Power and Promise of Our Possibilities
Nine months ago, I declared my candidacy to represent New York City Council District 2. Last night we completed the race. Congratulations to Rosie Mendez on retaining the Democratic nomination for a third term.
Throughout the campaign, we experienced anew the promise and possibility of a better standard of living for the people of District 2, as a diverse coalition of community supporters rallied to our cause.I had the privilege each day of meeting neighbors for the first time and rekindling old friendships, hearing the concerns and the voices of the people. Your passion and vitality fueled the campaign, even as you have fueled and inspired our service in this community for thirty-one years.Thank you, staff, volunteers, donors, and voters, for your dedication and tireless teamwork to something far greater than any one of us.
Today marks the beginning of our next thirty-one years of serving District 2 together.
The Richard Del Rio for City Council campaign built a platform to give voice to the voiceless and remind the power brokers and political machine that their policy decisions impact real people and real lives. That platform and cause endure.
Our community is facing the challenges and opportunities of transition. We will build on our momentum and continue to fight for responsible economic development; affordable housing; Manhattan’s forgotten middle class; youth and senior programs; sustainable education reform; community safety; and meaningful support for our most vulnerable populations.
Today we also remember the loss of life and ultimate sacrifice 2,977 souls made for freedom twelve years ago on September 11th. Just as my experience at Ground Zero on 9/11 shaped my last twelve years of service, so too this experience as a candidate has reawakened in me an renewed vision for New York City and for our District.
I pledge to continue to fight for a better District 2 and a better life for all its citizens – to the end.
The Candidates Debate
Watch Rick Del Rio Introduce Himself
NYC's Official Voter Guide
Change from the Inside Out
Earlier this year, I formally announced my campaign to represent New York City Council District 2 after thirty-plus years of service to the community as an entrepreneur, activist, and pastor.
I invite you to join our growing army of supporters. We arepolitical outsiders but community insiders, willing to give all for sustainable change from the inside out. Your support will propel success.
I envision a Council District 2 that embraces our extraordinary economic, racial, and cultural diversity from the Lower East Side and East Village, to Gramercy, Kips Bay and Murray Hill. Our opportunity agenda unites us around six core justice issues:
Responsible Economic Development and Affordable Housing
Sustainable Education Reform
Intentional Youth Development
Fostering Intergenerational Community
Disaster Preparedness and Modernized Infrastructure
Our adversary is a two-term incumbent seeking a third term bought and paid for by Mayor Bloomberg’s temporary repeal of New York City’s Term Limit law. Ironically during her seven-plus years, she’s been a no-show representative up to 25% of the time, among the Council’s worst in absenteeism. Let’s tell Rosie Mendez that District 2 is through with Bloomberg and Council cronies who would attempt to benefit from his term limit takeover while neglecting core responsibilities like showing up. It’s time to reclaim our City Council District for our community, and to elect leadership that refuses to sell out on the issues that matter most to us.
Thirty-one years ago my wife and I responded to a call, just as our immigrant parents had a generation earlier. Our parents left their homelands searching for the promise of America in New York City. In 1982, my wife and I – New York City lifers – came to the Lower East Side to restore the promise of America to one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods.
Back then, the NYPD called the Lower East Side the City’s heroin capital, “where they kill people, sell their drugs, and sell their bodies.” For more then three decades, we have given all we are and have to this community.
Today, much of the community has been sanitized, but extreme and growing economic disparities have created tensions that simmer just beneath the surface. On Rosie’s watch, we have suffered the elimination of youth and after-school programs, recreational and community spaces, and the continual deterioration of living conditions for NYCHA residents. Yet plans progress to build luxury apartments in the middle of low-income housing, which will result in further loss of open spaces, recreation areas, and ball fields; jobless rates remain stagnant as homelessness has soared; and our schools continue to underserve 75% of our children.
Over the next few months, family, friends, and neighbors like you that will help us achieve victories in September’s primary election, and November’s general election. Together we can win this race. Thank you for your support.
Richard Del Rio envisions a Manhattan Community District 2 that embraces its extraordinary diversity while uniting around several core issues. As your City Councilmember, Richard Del Rio will represent the entire district while pursuing an agenda of opportunity and justice for all. Read the campaign Platform here.