Friends of Robert J. Rodriguez
NYS Assembly-68th District in NY http://www.robertjrodriguez.com/index.aspx
39 Broadway Suite 1740
New York, NY
Primary Election Date: 2014-09-09 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
Robert J. Rodriguez was elected to the State Assembly in 2010. Since joining the legislature, Robert has served as a tireless champion for affordable and public housing, and championed various health access issues, and pushed for economic develop opportunities for minority small businesses. As a member of the Housing committee, and the chair of the Mitchell-Lama committee, He has championed an effort to save over 14,000 units of affordable housing in jeopardy of losing its affordability protections. As a member of the Health committee, He has initiated efforts to better care for chronic illnesses such as Asthma, and HIV and Aids, and ensured that individuals have access to care and prescription drugs regardless of income level. Robert also has a passion for assisting small businesses and creating economic opportunities for MWBE’s, as a result we began a legislative initiative to identify and create a directory for Hispanic businesses across the state for the purpose of providing them with necessary capital, technical assistance, and contracting opportunities to better support the rapidly growing Hispanic population. These are few of the initiatives currently underway, Robert also serves on the labor, corporations and authorities, banking, mental health committees.
Robert is a lifelong resident of East Harlem and previously served as Chairman of Community Board 11, representing East Harlem. Since joining the community board in 2002, Robert has focused on developing infrastructure in East Harlem to ensure that all its residents have access to the benefits of development and receive the variety of cultural and social services its resident deserve. As Chairman, Robert worked to negotiate the creation of responsible housing and commercial development. His efforts as Chair of the City Properties and Land Use Committee have led to the establishment of housing guidelines that challenge developers and the City to expand current levels of affordability, and developed a first source hiring program that created hundreds of jobs in the community for East Harlem residents.
Robert J. Rodriguez is the son of the former New York City Councilman, Robert Rodriguez. Robert was born, raised, and educated in East Harlem. Robert lives in East Harlem with his wife Jocelyn and his son Matias. He attended P.S. 112, River East, Isaac Newton, and Cardinal Hayes H.S. in the Bronx. Robert holds a B.A. from Yale University and an MBA from NYU. Robert is currently Vice President of a minority-owned public finance firm, A.C. Advisory, Inc., where he helps municipalities raise money for development and public works projects.
Why am I running?
I learned life’s great lessons long ago, watching my parents and neighbors work hard to make East Harlem a great community. For too long, Albany has ignored our neighborhoods and not provided us with our fair share of critical resources. I ran for New York State Assembly to make government work for all of us and to continue protecting and improving our neighborhoods, so that we can pass on an even stronger community to our children and grandchildren. I will continue to pursue that goal as your representative in the State Assembly.
1) Protecting and creating safe & affordable housing
2) Ensuring that our children have access to quality education
3) Fiscal Responsibility & Effective Crisis Response
This session, as chair of the Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama, we are focusing on protecting the affordability for the remaining Mitchell-Lama units across the State. To keep our communities safe, I am co-sponsoring legislation to extend and strengthen rent regulation laws, and sponsoring the “public housing and safety security act” to ensure safety and security in public housing by increasing penalties for crimes within housing projects. In an effort improve housing; we are reforming the NYCHA public housing board to create more tenant participation, and a fairer and more transparent board.
At a time when less than one percent of all African American and Latino students in New York City public schools will graduate having taken an Advanced Placement course, we must make investments in schools that will offer students the education they need and deserve. In 2014, We have supported and advanced most recently in this budget an increase of 5% in overall education aid, implemented a $2B capital plan to provide technology in schools (which I will be fighting to get implemented in East Harlem schools which remain dramatically underserved), implemented additional charter school funding which serves a large population of students in the district, and initiated free college for high school students in the top 10% pursuing careers in STEM.
With respect to Fiscal Responsibility, the State legislature has demonstrated fiscal discipline in conjunction with Governor Cuomo’s leadership. We extended surcharges on millionaires to support our budget during the conclusion of the recession, cut funding when we were facing deficits and have successfully the budget since I was elected. This discipline has finally paid off with increases in Education funding for the last 2 years, and projected surplus’ scheduled into fiscal year 2017. I have worked to prevent cuts to vital programs impacting our youth and seniors and advocated for closing corporate loopholes and tax credits.
Finally, I will continue to provide effective leadership and responsiveness to crisis and tragedies as they arise in my community. Everyone in our neighborhood will remember where they were the morning of March 12, 2014 when two buildings exploded in East Harlem as a result of a gas leak. I was in transit to our legislative session in Albany to vote on our budget resolution. As we started to understand the magnitude of the crisis, I found myself on the next train back to East Harlem. This tragedy has also reminded me about the strength of our community. Those injured are our classmates; the lost were our colleagues; all of them our neighbors.
My office, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and state Senator Bill Perkins will be working with ConEd, City housing agencies and others to help restore services to those 85 families for whom it has been disrupted, and the 8 families who lost loved ones and their homes in this tragedy.
My DFA Values
I not only share the values of community, security, and liberty; it has been my life’s work as a public servant to ensure that our children have access to a quality education, that working class families have access to safe and affordable housing, that our seniors have access to affordable prescription drugs and housing, and that all New Yorkers safe and secure and be able to live their lives and the American dream.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I have had the great pleasure and opportunity to sit on the boards of local community and nonprofit organizations in the very area I grew up in. I know the importance of community involvement and the power of grassroots organizing to realize our progressive values and goals. In 2010, I founded the Arturo Schomburg Democratic club, the membership has grown to over 250 members of the community committed to the values of economic and ethnic diversity and empowerment through political engagement and organizing in the spirit of the great afro-caribbean leader Arturo Schomburg.
I will continue to do as I have in the past by working alongside progressive leaders and members of my community to ensure that our voices continue to be heard in Albany. I will knock on my neighbors’ doors, make thousands of phone calls, organize and attend meetings to activate and recruit new supporters and volunteers.
There is still a lot of work to be done in Albany and the ability to create the change we want to see begins with effective grassroots organizing.