Friday, October 3, 2008
To chants of “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma,” Assemblyman Carl Heastie cut the ribbon on what the so-called Rainbow Rebels are claiming is the new Bronx Democratic headquarters. The one time laundromat, located at 914 E. 163rd St., was adorned with a red, white and blue banner proclaiming Heastie Chairman of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, numerous Obama-Biden campaign signs, and even a life-size, cardboard Barack Obama cutout standing in the window that at one point found itself posing for photos with Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Several fellow members of the so-called Rainbow Rebels accompanied Heastie, who along with Assemblyman Jose Rivera is claiming to be the Bronx Democratic leader following Sunday’s meetings at the Utopia Paradise Theater. Assemblymen Jeffrey Dinowitz, Michael Benedetto, Michael Benjamin, and Assemblywoman Aurelia Green, who were all elected as party officers by the Rebels Sunday night, stood with Heastie as he christened the new building, which will also serve as a Bronx headquarters for the Democratic presidential candidate this November.
“This is a critically important election,” said Heastie. “And we will do all we can to elect the Obama-Biden ticket.”
In regards to the split Bronx Democratic factions, Heastie added that what happens next is up to the Board of Elections and hoped that “the courts could stay out of it” so that the party might come together sooner and in time to help regain Democratic control in the State Senate.
Late to arrive to the festivities was Senator Efrain Gonzalez, the recently defeated incumbent who has represented The Bronx in Albany since 1989. Preaching a theme of “moving forward,” the Senator said that he will continue to work for the people of the Bronx adding, “You don’t have to be elected to be effective.”