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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Maria Baez Shows Up to Support Local Supermarkets

After noticeably missing BP Ruben Diaz’s public hearing on the Kingsbridge Armory’s redevelopment process, 14th District City Councilwoman Maria Baez took to the streets yesterday afternoon to support local supermarkets. These smaller, localized supermarkets feel threatened by the large-scale supermarket included in the plans for the redevelopment of the armory.

In the past, Baez has been criticized for not being actively involved in the redevelopment of the armory, especially since it falls within her district. However, yesterday Baez said the Kingsbridge Amory redevelopment is “a very important priority” for her.

Yesterday afternoon, Baez (center) stood her ground outside a C-Town Supermarket on the corner of University Avenue and Fordham Road supporting local businesses and “opposing big box stores.” Baez holds that if Related Companies, the developer, builds a shopping mall with a brand name supermarket, “thousands of local jobs” will be lost in the process. Instead of filling the armory with large corporate stores, Baez said the Kingsbridge Amory should be transformed into “a place where our children can go, a recreation center.”

Standing tall behind Baez at her press conference outside of C-Town was the owner of the supermarket, Jose Frias and a handful of other local supermarket and bodega owners. In the press release for the event, Frias said, “Maria Baez recognizes the contributions that small business owners have made to the Kingsbridge neighborhood.”

Despite Baez’s press conference at C-Town, the Morton Williams supermarket appears to be the major opponent to the Kingsbridge Armory supermarket. Since Morton Williams is located directly across the street from the armory, competition would be fierce between the two potential food stores.

Although Baez did not specifically mention Morton Williams, she was clearly sending out another message unrelated to supermarkets: Vote for me! With signs reading “Vote Maria Baez” plastered on walls lining the C-Town, Baez chose to combine campaigning for reelection with her opposition to the Kingsbridge Armory supermarket.

After the conference, Baez briefly discussed the Kingsbridge Amory Redevelopment Alliance’s (KARA) fight for securing a living wage at the future stores in the mall. “I have been working with KARA and there is a lot that we need to look at and address,” she said.

As for negotiating a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Related Companies, Baez said that if reelected, this would be the third time she has been involved in a CBA, so she is familiar with the process.


  1. Flip flopper Maria! Come on people, she was for a big box in the armory until she received donations for her campaign from Martin Williams. This is sick. After all of the hearings and events, now she shows up 34 before elections? I don't buy it. Three CBA and no results. Enough! Let's get some real leadership and someone who has been working and speaking out for the right redevelopment for the Armory...Fernando Cabrera. We need someone who is going to do the right thing at the Armory Redevelopment. This is why the Retailers union endorsed him. They know he is the man that will protect the rights of our people.

  2. C-Town is a small business?

  3. What Maria Baez all of a sudden appears out of nowhere! Be serious, check out the nyc finance - Martin Williams and others gave towards her campaign. Until today there is no word that she will get her matching funds....she is a sick woman and people need to know that. And working with KARA - KARA has been out there working it and attending meetings - never seens Maria there with them.

  4. This is hilarious.

    Maria Baez has no shame. That is why she can stand here and seriously ask people for their vote, given what she has done. She represents the worse of Bronx politics. Seriously.

  5. 36 days before September 15 - and all of a sudden showing up - will not make up for all the absentees Maria Baez has. Have it to give to Tapia and Cabrera, they do show up.

  6. agreed anonymous. this "councilwoman" is a joke.

  7. A joke is being to easy. this lady is a pure clown!!

  8. Maria and Yudelka did not get their matching funds....I wonder why? They probably took illegal money and are under investigation.



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