On Thursday, February 18, Senator Pedro Espada opened a second district office on Bainbridge Avenue near the Williamsbridge Oval and encouraged constituents to drop by.
The senate majority leader moved to add another district office in response to complaints from the northeast corner of the 33rd Senate District.
“We met with many community-based organizations,” Espada said. “They wanted us to be here because they’ve felt left out of their government.”
Espada, inaugurated in early 2009, opened a district office at 400 E. Fordham Road in September 2009, eight months later.
His new office, at 3328 Bainbridge Avenue, sits across Mosholu Parkway from Bainbridge House, the co-op apartment building where Espada resides.
The Bedford Mosholu Community Association and the Mosholu Preservation Corporation helped Espada find a spot on Bainbridge Avenue, he said. His new office occupies a sumptuously renovated, two-story brick house on a block that also boasts the offices of several Montefiore Medical Center doctors.
The Bainbridge Avenue office has absorbed a different brand of constituent concerns than has Espada’s Fordham Road office, he noted.
“On Fordham Road, 90 percent of the complaints are housing issues,” Espada said. “Here, they have been quality of life issues.”
The senator promised to work with the police department, the sanitation department, Councilman Oliver Koppell and Community Board 7 district manager Fernando Tirado to tackle the latter.
“People here are very concerned about the idleness of youth,” Espada said. “People feel that not enough is being done to deal with day-to-day public safety issues. People want government and people like myself…to respect their day-to-day needs.”
On Wednesday, February 17, Espada introduced and tenant groups protested a bill that would freeze rent for ten years for some 750,000 people. Espada has described the bill as a boon for low-income renters, while tenant group have warned that it would let landlords protect 80,000 or so formerly rent-regulated apartments from a return to that status.
Angelo Heck, who attended the February 18 ceremony, made no speech, but thinks Espada’s bill would boost the Bronx.
“He wants to stabilize the rent for people that make under $45,000 a year, which would help those of us that are the actual backbone of the city,” Heck, 39, said.
The maintenance worker became homeless when he and his wife were unable to handle a rent increase on E. Gun Hill Road. They live in a shelter on Webster Avenue.
Senator and Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson of Brooklyn attended the ceremony, as did Assemblyman Jose Rivera.
Reach Espada’s Bainbridge Avenue office at (718) 625-4329.