While one of the most important presidential elections in national history looms closer, local Bronx politics also saw a big recent development, as the borough saw a new name rise to the top of the ranks.
On Sept. 30, Senator Jamaal Bailey was approved as new Bronx County Chair. The seat was vacated when Assemblyman Marcos Crespo resigned in June.
“I’m honored to be the chair of the county that has given me so much,” Bailey told the Bronx Times.
Bailey, 38, the chairman of the Codes Committee, was elected to the Senate in 2016.
According to the senator, his first order of business is to remind people that in 33 days, they must get to the polls. Whether it’s voting early or in person he emphasized the fact that their voice matters.
He had heard reports in the past that the Bronx was a “boys’ club,” but his goal is to have the most qualified people run the borough and be inclusive.
Bailey, a diehard basketball and Knicks fan, compared politics to a game of hoops.
“One-on-one basketball will only get you so far,” he explained. “People in the Bronx need to work as a team. We have a very deep bench here. I want to establish a culture here in the Bronx.”
The senator, who was the driving force behind the repealing of 50-a, stressed change will not happen overnight.
Bailey noted that he and his colleagues are elected by the people and anyone who is not there to work for their constituents does not belong in office.
The Baychester resident was raised on Paulding Avenue in Wakefield and it means so much to him to be in the position he is in today.
“I remember my neighborhood. I remember the culture,” he said.
He began his career working for Speaker Carl Heastie and eventually went to CUNY Law School. When he isn’t trying to bring change to the Bronx, Bailey is home with his wife Giamara and two daughters and also watching and playing basketball.
“My wife and daughters are the inspiration I have every single day,” he said. “I love my job. It’s special when you can see change in your borough. I’m looking forward to another renaissance in the borough.”