Adriano Espaillat, left, the Democratic nominee for
the 31st State Senate district, had breakfast Sep. 23 with his three
opponents in the race: Anna Lewis, Misotis Munoz and Mark Levine. They
discussed issues raised during the campaign and endorsed him in the race
against Green Party candidate Ann Roos in the General
Election. PHOTO: Mike Fitelson
Nine days after voters picked Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat to represent them in the State Senate seat being vacated by Eric Schneiderman he met with his three former opponents to discuss issues raised during the campaign and tap their expertise in how to solve the district’s most intractable problems.
Over a plate of mangu, eggs and café con leche at Dyckman Express in Inwood on Sep. 23, Espaillat, Mark Levine, Anna Lewis and Misostis Munoz agreed that the three most pressing issues in the Senate district were helping small businesses, increasing the availability of affordable housing and improving education.
In summing up some of the solutions that were discussed at the breakfast, Espaillat said his office would look into tapping federal funding for early childhood development programs; creating a one-stop center for small businesses that included access to real estate attorneys; expanding the business improvement district in Washington Heights and finding private money to help support it; increasing Medicaid reimbursements for independent pharmacists; and proposing incentives to landlords to lease empty storefronts.
Espaillat also said that he wants to “maintain lines of communication” with his one-time opponents to tap into their areas of expertise, which they appeared eager to share.
Levine noted that it was evident from the campaign that there is “agreement on the core issues – everyone here calls themselves a progressive.”
Espaillat won the Democratic primary with 51 percent of the vote and will face Green Party candidate Ann Roos in the General Election in November. The Senate district stretches from the Upper West Side through Washington Heights and Inwood to Riverdale.