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Melissa Wins! Hard Work Ahead

By Jose B. Rivera

Photo of Councilwoman Melissa Mark-ViveritoEast Harlem - September 28, 2005.  Melissa Mark-Viverito has won East Harlem’s city council seat, beating Felipe Luciano by less than a few hundred votes. But Melissa has a lot of hard work ahead of her. She garnered 25% of the vote and barely beat Mr. Luciano.  There is no shame in this, it is what is it is. A win is a win is a win.  What is the best thing about squeaking by?  Building on it of course! 

Melissa has the opportunity to consolidate future support and an other possible term if she plays her cards right.  Mostly, reaching out to all the players, institutional heads, leaders both moral and political and the public at large. This is important because although she won, more people voted against her than for her (3 to 1).  And Melissa needs to increase her votes from 25% to 50%+1.

Being the smart young lady that she is, Melissa will probably aim for 75%-100% of the vote.  I know I would.

There is a lot to celebrate in Melissa’s win.  (1) East Harlem Finally has a representative in the city council.  This is as oppose to have a West Sider represent our community.  It should never ever happen again. (2) One of our own (insert Puerto Rican here) is representing us again and boy it’s been a while.  (3) Melissa actually lives in the community.  This writer should know, she is a neighbor of mine. (4) Melissa offers a fresh new start. 

Issues Melissa should concentrate on:  Housing, Housing and Housing. And did I mention Housing?  Both for the under and middle class, but no more luxury housing. And the community board must be representative of the community in it’s makeup.  Nothing further need be said on that issue.

Other than that, the Councilwoman should just reach out to everyone.  Give yourself away and you will find that your efforts will be rewarded ten fold.  JBR

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