By Robert Press
Ydanis Rodriguez becomes number twelve to say that he is running for the 15th Congressional seat of retiring Jose Serrano. While State Senator Gustavo Rivera and former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson withdrew to run for their old seats in Albany that still leaves ten people in the race, and one more who told me via phone last night that he would be announcing that he is running also at the beginning of the new year.
Ydanis Rodriguez is also the third person who ran in the February special election for Public Advocate. In that non partisan special election he ran under the 'Unite Immigrants' banner, and he is continuing to run as a candidate of immigrants. He said that he has to renew his green card every ten years.
He is the Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee, and has been organizing for workers rights. He said that he wants new development in the district, but does not want to push out those people who are long time residents.
Ydanis said that the Third Avenue 149th Street subway station is one of the worse stations, because the people there are immigrants. He added they have poor air quality and low performing schools, but that would change if he was elected congressman.
I was able to ask Ydanis some questions, one of which was like the Michael Blake – Ritchie Torres deal for Torres not to run and support Blake for Public Advocate, in return Blake would support Torres for the 15th Congressional District (which the latter did not happen). Did he make a similar deal with Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. who endorsed Ydanis in the Public Advocate race was the deal for Councilman Rodriguez to support Diaz Sr. for congress in the 15th District. Ydanis said there was no deal with Diaz Sr. like the Blake – Torres deal.
Ydanis Rodriguez is interviewed by the only other media outlet covering his announcement for the 15th Congressional seat.
Ydanis is introduced by Joel Rivera who ran in the 2013 City Council race won by Ritchie Torres.