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Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Challenger to Join Race Against Espada

Later this evening, Fernando Tirado, the district manager of Community Board 7, will announce his candidacy for state senate in the 33rd District, joining an increasingly crowded lineup of folks challenging the embattled Pedro Espada, Jr.

With about roughly four months until the Democratic primary, there are now five candidates vying for Espada's seat: Tirado (pictured), activist Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, former Gillibrand aide Gustavo Rivera and lawyer Daniel Padernacht.

Tirado has a BA in political science and worked for the city's health department for years before becoming district manager of Community Board 7 (Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham and University Heights) in 2008. He moved to Bedford Park in 2006 and joined the community board as a member before being plucked to replace long-time former district manager Rita Kessler.

Under Tirado's watch, the board has modernized -- launching a new website, sending out e-mail alerts and reaching out through other social media outlets like Facebook. (He also put a huge new flat screen in the board's meeting room.) He also helped guide the board through the strenuous land use review process for the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment plan last summer. (The board voted for the plan to make the Armory a shopping mall, with conditions -- that weren't met. The plan died in the City Council.)

As district manager, he has also shepherded the board's work with the Department of City Planning to rezone Webster Avenue and surrounding neighborhoods. (There's a hearing on this rezoning plan set for Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Bedford Park Senior Center.)  

In a press release this morning, Tirado said, "It's not only time for change, it's time to move forward from the political culture of inaction that is all to prevalent in Albany."

In the release, he said he would "champion fiscal responsibility and economic development for the state, hold government and taxpayer subsidized organizations accountable to the people," and work for the future of our children. He didn't go into much detail about any of that.

Our friends at Boogie Downer reported this first. Kudos to them.

Here's a Norwood New story from when Tirado was first hired for the district manager's job.

And here's several months into his tenure.


  1. How in the world is he going to be an effective district manager at community board #7 and run? If he runs, he should quit his present job as district manager. He should not use his $86,000 dollar job as a base of operation to run as a state senator. I smell a conflict of interest problem here.

  2. That's quite presumptuous of you to say that he'd use the community board as a "base of operation" for his campaign. Not everyone is Pedro Espada Jr. after all...

  3. Since when does any candidate for public office have to quit his/her job in order to run for that office? Are we so jaded from our experiences with Pedro that we cannot see the possibility of an honest candidate? Maybe, just maybe, he is not like Pedro.

  4. Interesting! Fernando seems like a good guy, but I'm getting very concerned about the anti-Pedro vote being diluted.

  5. That's interesting...the community board is supposed to be an apolitical body generally void of partisanship (in this case, as with most of our city, democrat in-house bickering) and now the de facto leader of this body is throwing his hat into a political race and there is no conflict of interest? You mean to say that every action he carries out from this moment forth will not be perceived as political? Even if he is honest and upstanding which may in fact be, the perception will be that he is using the board for self-aggrandizement. Not to say that he's not qualified or that he's not a good guy, just saying that his candidacy injects politics voluntarily/involuntarily into the board.

  6. "and now the de facto leader of this body is throwing his hat into a political race"

    This commont shows a lack of understanding of the role of the District Manager.

    The District Manager works for the Board, and has no vote on Board decisions. The Executive Committee (officers and committee chairs) all of whom are volunteers make decisions and even those are only advisory.

  7. So if the District Manager works at the behest of the board (as I am fully aware of), why would he take credit for board accomplishments? Following this line of logic, the dm would only serve as a conduit for board action, not an initiator and would consequently have to relieve himself of the accomplishments he takes credit for.

  8. Tirado does not even have the support of the leadership of the Board.

    Also, what has he done for the community? Plus, he does not even a base of support. All he is going to do is make it harder for another latino like Gustavo Rivera to beat Espada.

  9. Tirado is a good guy and has the qualifications to lead the the 33rd

  10. this isn't a latino thing, it's a who's best for the district thing. fernando has as much of a right to run as anyone else and you know what i'd vote for him over the other candidates if the race was tomorrow plus espada is not as vulnerable as we think

  11. It is so obvious Fernando Tirado is writing these post.

    You still have not answer my question, what exactly has he done for the community?

  12. I'm not voting for Fernando Tirado. He always wants to take credit for what the Community Board does.


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