YONKERS, NY – I would like to start off by wishing my fellow council members a happy new year. It’s a new day for Yonkers City Council and I welcome the new Chairman of the City Council, Madam Chairperson, if I may add. Today we meet in council to meet and reorganize as we do every two years and vote on the rules that govern this body. Included in our city council rules are the important items that are the choice for executive and committee chairs.
Two years ago I was elected Majority Leader and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and lead this council. During my tenure we have experienced a pandemic, a transition to remote everything, a struggling small business environment and a lot of uncertainty regarding our city’s finances. At the same time, we’ve overcome those uncertainties, implemented creative initiatives to help our small business owners, changed the way we teach our kids, and along the way, learned that we here at Yonkers, can handle whatever is offered to us.
The pandemic is not behind us, but we are moving forward by picking up on past practices that have worked, learning from our mistakes and making new beginnings.
I am delighted to have four women of color on the board and look forward to the many successes we will have individually and collectively. I am excited about a democratic super majority and the power and responsibility it brings. I look forward to a busy and constructive legislative session, working across the aisle while still remaining true to the democratic values that are dear to me.
Today I will be voting ‘No’ on the proposed rules, which include City Councilor Tasha Diaz as Majority Leader and City Councilor John Rubbo as Majority Whip.
I respect all the colleagues I serve with, but at the moment I have very strong reservations about City Councilor Tasha Diaz as the majority leader of the council. My time on the board and my interactions with Councilor Tasha Diaz has brought me to the firm and strong conclusion that she does not have the skills and temperament to lead this council. She also failed to show leadership in moving the democratic agenda forward after she voted against the Affordable Housing Ordinance.
I respect the will of the board and will respect the choice made by this body today, but I wanted to share the reason why I am voting “No” today.
I am fighting with the two members who voted against the Affordable Housing Ordinance now in leadership roles, which aims to guide the Democratic caucus. My hope for the good of this council and the city is that they grow quickly in this role.
As I enter my 9th year on Yonkers City Council, I am delighted to continue to serve, to prioritize the review and passage of a larger Affordable Housing Ordinance, to continue to work on police reform and reintroduce the establishment of a Civil Complaints Commission, to dig deep and provide more resources to our Yonkers public students, to protect tenants from predatory landlords, to revamp our buildings department and advance progressive programs that help the residents of the Town of Yonkers. The work does not stop with a title change and I am impatient and excited to continue the work for which I was elected.
Knowing how the vote will be cast, I always congratulate my colleagues and look forward to advancing the Democratic agenda that best serves the town of Yonkers.
Happy New Year and let’s make it count!
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Councilmember Corazon Pineda-Isaac represents constituents who reside in District 2 of Yonkers Council.