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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Espada Has Defenders, Despite Legal Woes

 There's no doubt Pedro Espada's been getting his fair share of bad press lately. Both the New York Times and the Daily News published editorials last week condemning the state senator for the civil charges brought against him by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

But not everyone is down on Espada. He's drawn support from some, and recently doled out a number of member item grants to fund community groups and projects.

We received this letter last week from PS 86 principal Sheldon Benardo, via Espada's press person Frank LaBoy, who passed it on to us with Bernardo's permission:

Dear Editor:
As a long-time public school principal in Pedro Espada's senatorial district I find the charges against him dismaying and your editorial characterization of him disturbing.  The Pedro Espada known well to his constituents and to this community is an elected official who organizes food pantries, advocates for tenants, intercedes in immigration issues, supports his local schools and brings home grants to the Bronx.  We all are entitled to the presumption of innocence, including Pedro Espada.
Sheldon Benardo

P.S. 86, Bronx

Espada recently gave PS 86 students $25,000 for a trip to Japan in May, where they'll learn about Japanese culture and get to meet their Japanese penpals. This week's issue of the Norwood News has a story on the trip and on Espada's role in funding it.

Two weeks ago, Espada showed up at a Community Board 6 meeting and presented checks to the board itself and two other local organizations. Tanima Productions, a nonprofit that runs dance and creative arts programs for children and teens, got $25,000 from the senator. He also presented $30,000 to the after-school and day camp programs at Tremont United Methodist Church, and $58,000 to the community board.

"It was a good gesture on his part, because you know community boards are struggling," said Ivine Galarza, district manager for CB6 (funding for the city's community boards were cut by 7 percent this year). But this week, however, Galarza is concerned that she does not yet have an official letter.

Espada also recently helped the Fordham Road Business Improvement District in the form of a $100,000 state grant.


  1. He is still a carpetbagger...this time with real money(pork) in his bag. The original meaning of carpetbagger was an unscrupulous itinerant banker of the West. Espada has uniquely merged both meanings in his persona...a politician/banker throwing money (pork) around to gain what?...favor, publicity, image enhancement.

    On the other hand, some groups have turned down his money. The principal quoted in the above article is both dismayed and disturbed, reactions that often follow when locals receive grants from politicians spreading around pork in their districts.

  2. Hon.Mr.Espada, My opinion towards you is very Positive for everything you have done for the Community.The help you have given to Students on their first day of School, by taking out the time to visit several schools in order to give them a Positive Speech about the importance of their Education and by also handing out School Supplies to much schools(pencils,pens,papers,books,etc)and also helping out Hospitals and Organizations throughout the city, in addition to the Fruits and Vegatables you have given to the Youths and Senior Citizens in our community, which shows your concern for the health and wellbeing for our people. My staff,students,dance instrutors and myself, will never forget all the Good and Positive things you have done for Our Community and Borough, and we wish you and your Loving Family the Very Best of Luck and Health. Thanking You always and forever, Mrs.Nereida Medina (Exective Director of,"Tanima Production Inc.")


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