Good morning! As some of you may have noticed, Morning Matters is not an everyday thing at this point. I do it whenever I have time in the morning. Here, though, are some interesting nuggets you probably won’t find with a routine “Bronx” Google search.
As Bob Kappstatter reported on Bronx Matters in a previous post, Luis Sepulveda is ramping up a campaign to fill Peter Rivera’s Assembly seat when he becomes state Labor commissioner. Sepulveda now has a one-page website up, with a letter that addresses readers as “constituents,” (a little premature since they won’t be actually be his constituents unless his elected to represent them in the state legislature). The rest of the web site appears to be under construction but a tab titled “To NYS Assembly page” inexplicably leads to the website of Queens Assemblyman Fernando Moya.
The Center for Working Families has released a report on the campaign contributions of former State Senator Pedro Espada, who is currently on trial for allegedly stealing money from the Soundview Healthcare Network, which he founded and managed. Among the report’s findings are that Espada’s fundraising increased sixfold when he became chairman of the Housing Committee and that only 3(!) of those contributions came from within his district.
Daniel Beekman drills down a bit into Census data to find that many more Manhattanites have moved to the Bronx in the last decade, but that may not at all signal gentrification, as many of those intra-city migrants were at or near the poverty level. For more on the controversy concerning whether the south Bronx is gentrifying, which was a hot topic on Bronx Matters last week, click here.
The Riverdale Press reports that the top offender on Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s “worst landlord” list is Riverdale resident Josh Neustein, who owns several violation-plagued buildings. Neustein said his “estranged sister,” Amy Neustein made false reports to the city’s housing agency and its Department of Investigation. But she says she is backed up by tenants complaints and the city’s own work examining those complaints. Earlier this month, Amy Neustein wrote this piece for City Limits explaining why she was shining the light on her brother’s work as a landlord.