My Experience on this year’s Campaign Trail

This year I spent my time on two campaigns for the majority of the time, but I did make sure to spread my political love across the city. From East Harlem, the Upper West Side, LES, Red Hook and the big finale in Sunset Park. The campaign trail is a long road; it’s a lot of hours. If you’re like me you make the choice to personally make all your time for these people because you believe in their cause.

I love being on the campaign trail with my candidates, I spent a great weekend in East Harlem with a great friend and councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito and our mutual friend Andy Praschak. Walking around from family day events, too festivals, talking about Melissa. Watching the love her district had for her was amazing.

Spending the last two weeks with my sister from another mother Councilmember Rosie Mendez was also amazing and a great test of self-control for me. Her opponent was a thug, a straight up no holds bar thug. He was rude, disrespectful and sure didn’t know how to play the rules as a gentleman. I am a spark plug, you threaten me, and my family or my friends is on. GOTV weekend took a lot of deep breathes for me to get by, he had people throw eggs, sit on peoples car, attempt to run people over. NO CLASS by this guy. The point here is I so kept it cool, and it was all worth it she won with 80% of the vote.  I am very proud and honored to have been on Rosie’s team this year and honored that she allowed me to feel at home at comfortable being me.

Rosie Mendez also teamed up with my councilmember where my apartment is with Councilmember Margaret Chin so I did get to do some work with her in terms of my first dear neighbor letter which was awesome. Also supporting Gale Brewer for Borough President. 

GOTV and Election Day for me was a personal battle with myself, one that starts even before this campaign trail. When I was not so political, I met a person for no other reason than he walked up too me in a room full of a lot more important people and he introduced himself too me, than one shy girl from Staten Island. That’s what I was back than. I didn’t know who I was or what I was passionate about.

Two and half years later…I am who I am now, just a transgender bisexual man living my dreams that I didn’t believe where possible. Helping the same person I had met all those years ago, a person who had been there for me when I wasn’t even there for myself.  Our story runs a lot deeper than this but this is an election story. Carlos Menchaca was running for city council and I was the “solider” standing outside talking to voter. I did this pretty much all day, which meant I spent 48 hours in my binder.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for Carlos if he asked me too, and I did this because I knew that he could beat her. I had been told months before that he would lose and had her staff talk bad too me about him and me. I didn’t care he’s my best friend, and I would not be any of this with his support and love. When the polls were closing and we were waiting for the numbers these ladies from her campaign “how can you be friends with Carlos your not Mexican” I went and got the numbers which he won both ED’s and said back as nicely as I could “Bye Ladies, this guys got a best friend too see and no I am not actually Mexican but I’m sure ill be just fine at the party”

I ran too the location too wait for the results met his family, and it was like we had already met it was really great. The results came in and it was such a rush of emotion. I didn’t know whether too smile, laugh, cry but I pretty did it all. However my chest was killing me, it had been hurting since around 5pm but I had to stay out side for me and for him. I however decided to stick it out, but I didn’t get to stick around for too long. I knew had been a part of something amazing and I needed to see happen. 

These are the people I spend my time with because I believe in what they do, and the movement of progressive democrats across New York City, New York State and the United States. I would do it all again, and trust me it’s not the last long campaign season for me. 

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The Lower East Side Still Needs Rosie Mendez

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Councilmember Rosie Mendez has serviced the constituents of the 2nd City Council District since 2006. The district covers the Lower East Side, East Village, Gramercy Hill, Rosehill, Kips Bay and the Southern park of Murray.

Rosie has been a fierce advocate for the public housing in her community and across the city. She secured a total of 5.85 million dollars for the NYCHA development in her district. She has serviced as the Chair of the Committee on Public Housing. She also sits on health, Housings and Buildings, Land Use, Landmarks, Public Sitting & Maritime (sub-committee)

Before being a New York City Councilmember, Rosie Mendez was a tenant organizer in her community. She was a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation which “works with people to build better housing for better communities” this shows that even before her being elected to city council, Rosie was committed to helping those in public housing, and those who need affordable housing across the city.

Rosie has done a lot of work making sure some of NYC’s important pieces of history and culture are preserved for future generations to enjoy. Some of those buildings landmarked included CHARAS/El Bohio, the Wheatworth Factory, Webster Hall, Elizabeth Home for Girls, Beth Hamedrash Synagogue and St. Stephen’s Church.

Rosie worked to pass three re-zoning of three areas in her district in the East Village, Lower East Side, the East River Con-Edison Site and Phipps East Side.  Rosie has worked hard introducing legislation some of which were

  • Establishing the right to counsel for seniors
  • Establishing the right to language access
  • Sanctions against restaurants that violate labor laws
  • Mold abatement

Rose was there for her community after Hurricane Sandy, making sure that the people in her community had food and water if they could not leave their apartments to receive those needs. She made sure that services being given to her community and information on FEMA and SBA assistance was given.

Rosie fights for her district in a number of different ways. She made sure $5 million dollars went to the 22 schools in her district. The social services and youth services in her district received 6.2 million. Cultural organizations in the district received 8.25 million dollars. An additional 7 million went toward libraries, parks, high education and housing for seniors and the disabled. Rosie has stood against Mike Bloomberg’s extension of term limits, the expansion of Columbia University, and the new Yankee Stadium.

Rosie is has received a hundred percent rating from the League of Humane Voters. In her first term she passed Intro 389 this was legislation that “prohibits the use of wild animals- such as elephants, non-human primates, lions, tigers and many other performances”

 She is one of the four members of the LGBT caucus in the City Council. She has stood by her community in the fight for Marriage Equality and the string Hate Violence against the LGBT community over the years. She is endorsed by the Victory Fund and many other organizations and groups.