The influential English-language political newspaper City & State this week named Dominican Congressman Adriano Espaillat as the second most influential politician in Upper Manhattan behind his colleague in the House of Representatives, Jerry Nadler, who rarely, if ever, appears before the community.
Espaillat appears on a list of 100 advocacy figures that also includes several elected officials also from Upper Manhattan, such as Councilman Mark Levine, Assemblywoman Carmen de la Rosa, City Council candidate Shaun Abreu and African American State Senator Robert Jackson of Inwood at 22, 25, 37 and 58 respectively.
Approached last night about the second place pick, Espaillat responded that the most important thing is the work that can be done in favor of the community and not the titles.
“I thank him but I think the most important thing is what can be done within the government and use the power for positive things in favor of the people, that is the most important thing,” said the Dominican congressman.
“The titles are flattery, but at the end of the day, power means nothing if it is used for the good of the people and that the government is a force for good,” Espaillat said.
The list was published by City & State on Monday, saying that the selections took into account the work of the entire year 2021.
Espaillat supporters reacted in disgust, saying that the Dominican representative of the 13th district in Washington DC, was the most “sound” congressman for his fight in multiple areas that benefited thousands of people in need in the communities within the district.
They recalled that Espaillat has been a strong advocate of national and international issues such as immigration, civil rights, judicial and police reforms, radical positions against abuses of power, promoter of emerging leadership by supporting young candidates who were victorious in the Democratic primaries in June, children, the elderly and recognition of Dominicans and immigrants from other countries for their contributions to the United States, in addition to seeking funds to ensure democratic and political stability in underdeveloped countries like the Dominican Republic and others in the Caribbean and Latin America.
“Can you ask for more from there, I think that what there was in that list of a newspaper framed in the political and circumscribed to state and municipal issues, was a clear stripping of the first place that our congressman, the most influential politician of the Dominican diaspora in the United States, earned in a good fight”, expressed Rhadamés Ventura, a private employee who clarified that he has no militancy in any tendency but observed that “what is in sight does not need eyeglasses”.
The list includes public officials, business executives, hospital CEOs, community leaders and consultants, but all appear below Espaillat with the most influence in Manhattan.
Espaillat was elected to Congress in 2016, becoming the first Dominican to reach the U.S. House of Representatives.
His 13th district is comprised of the neighborhoods of Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the northwest Bronx.
He is currently a member of the influential House Appropriations Committee and the Congressional Education and Labor Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
City & State said in justifying putting the Dominican congressman at No. 2 that “when Rep. Espaillat was first elected to Congress in 2016, his victory signified the growing political power of Dominican Americans in Upper Manhattan.”