Adriano Espaillat

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Adriano Espaillat


Adriano Espaillat is the State Senate representative for the New York 31st District.

He won Congressional District 13 in 2016.

Education

Espaillat graduated from Bishop Dubois High School in 1974. In 1978, he earned his B.S. degree in Political Science from Queens College, and later completed postgraduate courses in Public Administration at the New York University and Rutgers University Leadership for Urban Executives Institute. [1]

Early Years

From 1994 to 1996, Espaillat became the Director of Project Right Start, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to combat substance abuse by educating the parents of pre-school children. This pilot program was implemented in six cities throughout the country and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. From 1992 to 1994, Espaillat served as Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office. This organization offered bilingual support groups for battered women, and provided relief, compensation, counseling and therapeutic services for families of homicide victims and other crime victims. In 1991, Espaillat was chosen as a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Dominican American Advisory Board, where he served for two years. From 1986 to 1991, Espaillat actively served on Community Planning Board 12 as a member of the Executive Board. During the mid 1980s, Espaillat was elected President of the 34th Precinct Community Council. In 1980, Espaillat joined the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, a non-profit agency contracted by the city of New York to provide pre-trial services to the New York Criminal Court system, where he worked as the Manhattan Court Services Coordinator for eight years. During the 1990s, Espaillat helped resolve hundreds of conflicts among his constituents by volunteering his services as a State Certified Conflict Resolution Mediator for the Washington Heights Inwood Conflict Resolutions and Mediation Center.[2]

New York Legislature

Espaillat made history in 1996 when he became the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature. Following a successful tenure in the New York State Assembly, Espaillat was elected to the Senate in November 2010, where he will represent the 31st district. This uniquely diverse and dynamic district stretches from Manhattan’s Upper West Side through Washington Heights and includes Riverdale, Marble Hill, Inwood, and Hamilton Heights. In addition to serving on the Ways and Means committee, Espaillat recently chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee (2007-2010) and the Small Businesses Committee (2010). Espaillat was also selected to Chair the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus. [3]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Adriano Espaillat was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[4]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

Immigration protest arrest

With 109 arrests, New York is playing a lead role in a growing national movement of nonviolent civil disobedience for immigration reform. Recent civil disobedience actions also have taken place in Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, Tucson, Detroit, San Francisco, and Seattle. Participants said their actions carry on the great tradition of peaceful non-violent resistance in the face of grave injustice, as practiced by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The series of civil disobedience actions began on May 17th 2010, when 16 New Yorkers were arrested. The following week, 37 were arrested in a similar action. Several elected officials were arrested in those actions: City Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane D. Williams, and Melissa Mark-Viverito, and State Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat.[5]

Albany rent control arrests

June 3, 2015 ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) - The New York State Police arrested dozens of people, including a few lawmakers, at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon. Protesters blocked the entrance to the Hall of Governors and refused to move. They were protesting rent control regulations. State Police arrested 55 people for Disorderly Conduct. According to police, three Assembly members, three Senators, and three New York City council members were arrested.

Senators Bill Perkins, Adriano Espaillat, and Brad Holyman, as well as Assembly members Richard Gottfried, Rodneyse Bichotte, and Maritza Davila-Amador were among the lawmakers charged.

Everyone who was arrested was issued appearance tickets for the City of Albany County split among June 10, June 11 and June 12.

The following were arrested, according to NYSP:

2014 supporters

June 2014 New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) which represents more than 600,000 members from 1,200 union locals announced their support for Adriano Espaillat in the NY-13 Congressional Primary. This support comes in the wake of several major labor union endorsements including WFP, CWA District 1, RWDSU, DC 9, UFT and HTC who announced their support last month and joins a broad coalition of support for Espaillat from across the District.

Adriano Espaillat understands the needs of students, educators and his community. He will be a clear voice for sound education policies and for investing in vital public services so all members of the 13th District have quality schools, good health care and opportunities to lead better lives,” said New York State United Teachers President Karen E. Magee. “We worked closely with Adriano on many important issues in Albany, and look forward to continuing that productive collaboration during the campaign, and in Congress.”

“I am thrilled to have the support of NYSUT and its 600,000 members – it’s incredible,”Adriano Espaillat said. “Teachers are the key to our City’s future. Our children, our communities and our City can truly thrive through their hard work. In Congress, I will fight to give every resource to our teachers – giving our children every opportunity to excel and our City the brightest future it can imagine. I am honored to have NYSUT’s support and together I know we can bring change and Opportunity for All to the District.”

NYSUT represents more than 600,000 people who work in, or are retired from, New York’s schools, colleges, and healthcare facilities. They are classroom teachers, college and university faculty and professional staff, school bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants and aides, nurses and healthcare technicians. NYSUT is a federation of more than 1,200 local unions, each representing its own members. They are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). They are also part of organized labor – the AFL-CIO – and of Education International, with more than 20 million members world wide.

Espaillat has dominated organized labor endorsements with the Working Families Party, (WFP) Communications Workers of America District 1 (CWA), Hotel and Motel Trades Council (HTC), United Federation of Teachers (UFT), District Council 9 IUPAT (DC 9), Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU) and the Laundry & Distribution workers affiliate of Workers United SEIU (Workers United) showing their support earlier in the campaign.

Also part of the broad coalition of support is New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, former New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx County Democratic Party Chair and Assemblymember Carl E. Heastie (AD -83); Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; Senators Brad Hoylman (SD-27) Jeffrey D. Klein (SD-34) and Gustavo Rivera (SD-33), Assemblymembers Karim Camara (AD-43), Robert Rodriguez (AD-68), Gabriela Rosa (AD-72), Jose Rivera (AD-73), Mark Gjonaj (AD-80) Jeffrey Dinowitz (AD-81), and Victor Pichardo (AD-86); Councilmembers Mark Levine (CD-7), Ydanis Rodriguez (CD-10), Andrew Cohen (CD-11), Ritchie Torres (CD-15), Julissa Ferreras (CD-21); the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan, and the Democratic Club of El Barrio & East Harlem.[7]

Communist supporter

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Estevan Nembhard wearing Adriano Espaillat badge.

CPC

In 2017 Adriano Espaillat was a new member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Impeaching Trump

A group of six Democratic House members introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump Wednesday November 15, 2017, claiming the president has violated federal law, the public trust and should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Al Green of Texas and Adriano Espaillat of New York introduced five articles of impeachment at a press conference at the Capitol Wednesday. The articles have two more co-sponsors: Reps. Marcia Fudge of Ohio and John Yarmuth of Kentucky.

The congressmen list a number of charges against the president, including: obstruction of justice, a violation of the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, a violation of the Constitution’s domestic emoluments clause, undermining the federal judiciary process and undermining the press.

The articles focus primarily on Trump’s handing of the termination of former FBI Director James Comey, and potential conflicts of interest with Trump’s businesses and properties while he’s served as president.[8]

Identity Evropa protest

On the evening of July 31, 2018, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, organized a rally at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan to protest the white-supremacist group Identity Evropa. Just a few days earlier, a gang of Identity Evropa members had gathered at the very same park to unfurl a racist, anti-immigrant banner from a bridge there. “Stop the Invasion,” the banner had read. “End Immigration.”

Disclosure: This reporter Jimmy Tobias attends Judson Memorial Church, where the New Sanctuary Coalition has its offices, and briefly volunteered for the coalition in early 2018.

Identity Evropa’s action was an affront to the local community, Espaillat says. The rally he organized in response, which was titled “Uptown Standing Together Against Racism and Xenophobia,” was meant to counter the group’s hateful message. Espaillat’s district includes a robust immigrant presence, many from his native Dominican Republic, and he himself is among the first formerly undocumented immigrants to serve in Congress.

“Our rally was about unity,” Espaillat says, noting that the family-friendly event was attended by more than 300 people, including children and young people, as well as New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and State Assembly member Carmen de la Rosa. “It was about pushing back against hate and telling our immigrant neighbors, our Latino neighbors, our Jewish neighbors that we will always stand with them if they are targeted by racist and anti-Semitic groups.”

Despite this inclusive and peaceful sentiment, Representative Espaillat’s rally ended up on a government list. In an e-mail sent out on the afternoon of July 31, 2018, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), transmitted detailed information to an undisclosed number of recipients, including at least one Department of Homeland Security supervisor, about public protests planned by mostly liberal and left-leaning groups in New York City. The e-mail contained a four-page document, titled “Anti-Trump Protest Spreadsheet 07/31/2018,” which listed the time, date, location, and purpose of upcoming protests slated to take place around the city.

The document, which covered protests that occurred between July 31 and August 17 last year, also contained the names of the groups sponsoring each protest and the number of people who had signed up on Facebook to attend them.

The July 31 e-mail from the HSI account contained a simple message to its readers: “All, Please see below listing…with updated protest information. Please remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings.”

Representative Espaillat’s rally against white supremacy was one of a dozen protests included in the “anti-Trump protest spreadsheet” that HSI sent out via e-mail that day. The protests on the list occurred in a wide variety of locations around Manhattan, and at least one took place in Brooklyn. While it is not known whether this spreadsheet is a standalone document or part of an ongoing agency effort to monitor protests, it provides evidence that ICE has, for at least a brief period, kept tabs on left-leaning political activities and Trump opponents in New York City.

“I am shocked. Totally shocked,” Espaillat says of the “anti-Trump” spreadsheet.

“I would like to find out why our event was on that list, and whether it was surveilled or infiltrated, and why the racist, anti-Semitic group was not on the list,” he adds, referring to Identity Evropa, a notorious group that helped organize the violent white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

In addition to the event organized by Espaillat, the “anti-Trump protest” spreadsheet lists protests and marches organized by Young Progressives of America, Refuse Fascism NYC, NYC Says Enough, the New Sanctuary Coalition, and Rise and Resist, which garnered the most citations of any group.

In early August of last year, Rise and Resist organized a series of “Abolish ICE” protests around New York City that targeted prominent Democratic politicians, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer, as well as Wall Street and the federal government. The protests all ended up on the “anti-Trump protest” spreadsheet.

“If [the Department of Homeland Security] is specifically focusing on those who are against the current president, it gets into the realm of what fascist regimes do,” says Jody Kuh, a volunteer organizer with Rise and Resist. “If they are watching us because we are against the current president’s policies, it is more than a little disturbing.”

The news that ICE has paid close attention to “anti-Trump” protest activities in New York comes after immigrant rights groups filed a federal lawsuit against the agency in February 2018. In the lawsuit, the New Sanctuary Coalition and its executive director Ravi Ragbir, among other groups, allege that ICE is violating the First Amendment by targeting prominent immigrant rights activists for surveillance, arrest and deportation. The litigants believe that ICE has specifically pursued activists such as Ragbir, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, for deportation in order to suppress their political activities. The case is awaiting a decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Alina Das, a professor at New York University Law School and an attorney for Ragbir and the New Sanctuary Coalition, says the fact that the agency sent out an “anti-Trump protest” spreadsheet is further evidence that “ICE is surveilling our communities based on not only the fact that they are speaking out, but who they are speaking out against.”

“The fact that we have an agency as powerful as ICE targeting our communities because they have chosen to speak out against President Trump and his harsh immigration policies should disturb every American who believes this kind of dissent is critical for protecting our democracy,” she says.

Civil liberties experts, meanwhile, fear that ICE’s apparent monitoring of protest activities in New York could have a broader chilling effect on the freedom of speech and peaceable assembly.

“The document reveals government surveillance of what appears to be peaceful protest, and that kind of surveillance threatens to chill protected First Amendment activity,” says Caroline DeCell, a staff attorney at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute. “Especially absent some kind of evidence of an actual threat to peace, there seems to be no justification for this kind of surveillance.”[9]

Raybblin Vargas connection

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Gratitude from Raybblin Vargas

People's Climate March endorsements

According to their website:[10]

"Here are some of the leading artists, athletes and influencers helping to spread the word about the People's Climate March, including Adriano Espaillat."

"Green New Deal"

From the Sunrise Movement:[11]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released a proposal for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, a plan that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis.

We have the momentum to make a Green New Deal real, but we need a critical mass of Congresspeople to support the proposal.

Take action on Dec. 10 to show Congress the Green New Deal is a top priority.

Congressional supporters by December 20 2018 included Adriano Espaillat.

Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founders

In August 2018 Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founding members included Representative Adriano Espaillat.

Medicare for All Act

In February 2019 Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. By May 29 she had 110 co-sponsors including Rep. Adriano Espaillat.

HR 109 endorser

By February 20 2019 endorsers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's HR 109 (Green New Deal) included Adriano Espaillat.

Venezuela letter

According to The Mobilizer February 2019 Democratic Socialists of America is behind Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal's Venezuela letter:

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DSA is organizing a congressional campaign. California Democrat Ro Khanna and Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal are circulating a letter "rejected threats of US Military intervention in Venezuela, supporting dialogue to resolve the political crisis there, and opposing broad economic sanctions that hurt ordinary civilians." The letter urges support for a mediation process advocated by the governments of Mexico and Uruguay to promote dialogue. Contact your Congressperson, especially members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to sign the letter.

Signatories by February 15 deadline included Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Raul Grijalva, Ilhan Omar, Hank Johnson, Adriano Espaillat, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Nydia Velazquez.[12]

Resolution calling for a final settlement of the Korean War

February 26, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – As President Trump arrives to Hanoi, Vietnam, Rep. Ro Khanna, along with eighteen Democratic Members of Congress, have introduced a resolution calling for a final settlement of the Korean War, now officially in its 68th year.

The resolution -- which is backed by former President and Nobel Peace Laureate Jimmy Carter and a range of Korean-American and pro-diplomacy organizations -- urges the Trump Administration to provide a clear roadmap to achieve a final peace settlement while highlighting the importance of reciprocal actions and confidence-building measures between the parties.

“Historic engagement between South and North Korea has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to formally end this war,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “President Trump must not squander this rare chance for peace. He should work hand in hand with our ally, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to bring the war to a close and advance toward the denuclearization of the peninsula.”

“I commend this important resolution that will help bring this nearly 70 year conflict to a close,” said President Jimmy Carter. “I have visited North Korea several times to talk with their leadership and study the best path forward for peace. Ending the threat of war is the only way to ensure true security for both the Korean and American people and will create the conditions to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary North Koreans who are most harmed by ongoing tensions.”

Co-led by prominent progressive Reps. Andy Kim, Barbara Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Deb Haaland, and Jan Schakowsky, the resolution calls on the Trump Administration to make greater efforts to include women in the peace process, citing the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 which Trump signed into law. Women’s rights icon Gloria Steinem, founder of the peace group Women Cross DMZ, published an op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday in support of the resolution.

The resolution clarifies that ending the war does not necessitate a withdrawal of US troops from Korea or an acceptance of North Korea as a legitimate nuclear power. The resolution calls on the Administration to continue the repatriation of servicemember remains, and expand cooperation to achieve reunions of divided Korean and Korean-American families and facilitate people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian cooperation.

Rep. Khanna has been a consistent voice for diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. Shortly after Trump threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea, Khanna was joined by over 70 Congressmembers on his bipartisan “No Unconstitutional Strike on North Korea Act”, which would reinforce existing law prohibiting an unauthorized and unprovoked strike on North Korea. He has also been critical of those in both parties who have sought to restrict flexibility in negotiations, instead urging support for the diplomatic approach of our South Korean ally and its President, Moon Jae-in.

Rep. Khanna will travel to Atlanta next week to sit down with Pres. Carter to discuss developments on the Korean Peninsula and solicit guidance from the Nobel Laureate about how the next generation of policymakers can best pursue a pro-diplomacy agenda for America.

Current original cosponsors (18): Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Deb Haaland, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jan Schakowsky, Raúl Grijalva, Bobby Rush, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Tulsi Gabbard, Adriano Espaillat, Andy Kim, Rashida Tlaib, Judy Chu, Jose Serrano, Gwen Moore.

The resolution is endorsed by organizations including the National Association of Korean Americans, Ploughshares Fund, Women Cross DMZ, Korean Americans in Action, United Methodist Church – Global Ministries, Win Without War, Peace Action, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Just Foreign Policy, Beyond the Bomb, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.[13]

Release Judy Clark

April 2 , 2019 New York State Board of Parole Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator Bedford Hills Correctional Facility

Dear Commissioners of the Board of Parole:

We, the undersigned Federal, State, and local elected officials and leaders of civil rights organizations, write to urge the New York State Board of Parole (“Parole Board”) to follow the law and parole guidelines and grant parole to Judith Clark.

During her 37 years in prison, Ms. Clark, through her words as well as her deeds, has transformed herself into a symbol of redemption, hope, and the human capacity for change. She has disavowed violence, accepted responsibility for her actions, and issued heartfelt and public apologies dating back to 1994 when parole was not even a remote possibility.

Ms. Clark participated in an unspeakable tragedy. Three people were killed, including two police officers. Although Ms. Clark was the “getaway” driver and did not fire any weapon, she does not minimize her role or in any way try to absolve herself from guilt. Judith Clark is painfully aware of the irrevocable harm she caused, and for more than three decades has done everything a human being could do to repair, repent and express remorse. She again forthrightly acknowledged her role, accepted responsibility, and expressed her contrition to the Parole Board at her initial appearance before the Board in April 2017.

At age 69 and after 37 years in prison, Judith Clark is among the oldest and longest serving women in New York State prison (only one woman among the almost 2,400 currently incarcerated in New York has served longer than Ms. Clark). We ask that you consider who she is today in 2019, not who she was in 1981, and implore you to grant her release.

Respectfully,

Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jose Serrano, Nydia Velazquez, Tom Suozzi.[14]

Adriano Espaillat Cabral's staff, past and present

References