NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Sharon Barnes-Waters continues her CityViews series taking an in-depth look at each borough in New York City, hearing from the borough president and highlighting a local business.
This week she sits down with Bronx Borough President, Rubén Díaz Jr. and urban revitalization strategist, Majora Carter.
Diaz, who was born and raised in the Bronx, was elected to the New York State Assembly at the age of 23 and was named one of City Hall’s “40 Under 40” for being a young influential member of New York City politics. He then became the 13th borough president.
Diaz said the Bronx has come a long way from the negative stereotypes the borough had in the 1970s and 80s.
“What people don’t know about the Bronx today is that it’s not the Bronx that I grew up in,” Diaz said. “Today we are the Bronx that over the last eight years alone we have seen over $12.5 billion, private dollars invested in our borough. We’ve cut unemployment by more than half, we have the largest workforce participating since the books have been kept in unemployment, we’ve seen over 29,000 units of housing, the majority of them have been affordable and low income.”
Diaz also said there is a misconception about the Bronx and crime. They are making great strides in keeping the borough safe. Diaz said it is even safer now than big cities like Boston, Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Chicago.
Carter, president of the Majora Carter Group, was also born and raised in the Bronx. She left after graduating from college.
“I was one of the ones who used education to get out of the Bronx. I was cutting and running like everybody else,” Carter said. “We were from a generation of folks who measured success by how far we got out of our borough.”
But she came back and has helped in the development of green spaces in the borough.
She also wants young people not to leave the Bronx but to come back and use their talents right there. She says this won’t happen unless the Bronx has the type of lifestyle that will attract them and keep them.
“The talent has always been in the Bronx, what we need to make sure that we’re doing is actually making sure that we’ve got the reasons for them to stay in the Bronx,” Carter said.
Diaz and Carter are working together to build up and advance the tech industry in the Bronx, even making a pitch to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to bring the company’s second headquarters to the borough.
Find their full interview above.