'No way Jose!' Rebels look to oust Dem Boss
A diverse group of elected officials and supporters crammed into a Co-op City meeting hall united and in one voice stated Jose Rivera’s days as Party Boss in the Bronx will soon be over. Chanting “No way Jose,” the group wildly cheered the Rainbow Rebels in their crusade to replace Rivera.
The crowd of 400+ that filled the hall in Co-op City’s Dreiser Loop Community Center expected to vote Rivera out. However, the veteran assemblyman secured a court victory claiming that the vote could not be held because the room could not hold the 2,800 voting committee members. Rebel Assembly member Aurelia Greene joked that the judge obviously was unfamiliar with Co-op City and the community center because the hall had removable walls that allow the smaller rooms to merge into a giant meeting hall, which is used during Co-op City board meetings.
As a result Heastie, who is chairman of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, could not hold a vote at the meeting. Instead he and fellow Rebels Assembly members Greene, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Michael Benjamin, Michael Benedetto, Ruben Diaz, Jr., Councilman James Vacca and Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. rallied their troops in preparation for the County vote on September 28 at the Paradise Theater. At this moment it would appear that Rivera is in trouble. At the Co-op City meeting Heastie introduced 14 out of the 24 district leaders throughout the borough.
“This is the Democratic Party of the Bronx,” Dinowitz said pointing to the crowd. He said the elected officials and those in attendance showed the diverse neighborhoods and ethnic groups throughout the Bronx. “On Sunday we will have new leadership in the Bronx Democratic Party.”
The Rebels’ power grab comes on the heels of their tremendous victories in the Primaries. Not only was their candidate for civil court judge Elizabeth Taylor voted in with a huge majority but the Rebels won every race.
“We’ve seen the demise of the Democratic Party in Bronx County,” said Greene. “Our Chairman could not see the life and he suffered a terrible defeat.”
When Rivera would not support Elizabeth Taylor for civil court judge there was a split in the Bronx Democratic Party that has been united for decades. Benedetto said Rivera’s chart of City employees looks “like a family tree.” The remark garnered loud applause because many of the Rebels were angered at the numerous positions the Rivera family holds in the Bronx.
Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. seemed to capture the crowd when he led them in a chant of “No way Jose.”
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