CABRERA AFFIRMS LEADERS TO STRENGTHEN SUPPORT FOR THE LIVERY INDUSTRY AND CALLS TO KEEP HOPE
By Miguel Cruz Tejada
ny taxi voice
ouncilman Fernando Cabrera, District 14’s representative in the Bronx and reelected candidate in the Sept. 12 primaries, said in an interview with NY TAXI VOICE that after ratifying his leadership for another term in the City Council and the election of Rev. Ruben Diaz, as councilman in District 18, Latino leaders' support for the livery taxi industry will be strengthened in the city.
Cabrera said that the current situation of the industry is difficult, so it requires that Latino leadership step up its efforts in its favor.
"Now we are better off, because we are going to have councilmen who will join the support of the taxi drivers, including Rev. Ruben Diaz, as well as Salamanca, a new spokesman on the council, along with other leaders who identify with the problem of the taxi drivers,” added the councilman.
He said that there are many injustices and that the councilmen will have to see how the situation is resolved.
"We are seeing that the city and the state are keeping the double fines against taxi drivers, and that is not happening with any other industry in New York," Cabrera explained.
Another of the situations in which he focused are the tickets for parking near fire hydrants, saying that he’s putting forward a project to signal or mark the space that cars must occupy and to stop the abuses against the drivers.
"We are going to start painting the sidewalks, as part of an initiative of my office, along with groups of taxi drivers, with whom we will do the painting work in those areas, because many taxi drivers are affected by people coming from other states to take away the business," said the councilman.
Another concern is that of the fakers who drive alleged unlicensed taxis, and many of whom have committed serious crimes, such as rape.
"We will campaign to alert the community to make sure on which vehicles they have to travel to avoid being abused by usurpers," said Cabrera.
He also criticized the Vision Zero initiative, remembering that he was the only councilman who voted against that program.
"I wanted taxi drivers to know that I've been with them, but the important thing is that we have to forge hope. It is time to unite and have one voice and use it to bring it to power and pass laws to help an industry that is critical and fundamental for the development of our community," he added.
He said that the leadership should call on the TLC to try to end the abuses against taxi drivers.
AND THE DISTRICT
Cabrera was very pleased with the majority electoral support that livery taxi drivers gave him in support of his reelection.
"It was a super big push, and all the bases and the taxi drivers were there. It was incredible and they expressed the support in the streets, because they know who are with them," he said.
"One hundred percent the support of the taxi drivers to my candidacy, and they showed again that they are a block of voters with tremendous influence. The difference was 20% compared to three candidates and it was a victory that I cannot forget," he said.
Summing up the future of his district, he said he will further strengthen work for economic development, education, culture, employment, and other programs.
"We have reduced unemployment from 23.5%, which was the worst in the city, to 6.2%. Even those killed because of violence have fallen to 65% from 72%, but we can lower those numbers more with initiatives from my office," he added.
He promised to increase the number of security cameras as part of a budget increase to maintain security in the district.
Schools have also benefited from his term, "more than from any other councilman’s," but he explained that there are many other schools with needs that will be addressed.
Housing is another of his priorities and a proposal has been put forward to build 4,000 affordable housing units for the poor.
"Our district is not being affected by gentrification or displacement and people are staying, being one of seven in the city in that situation of staying," he said.
"The housing program will begin in February and we are negotiating with the administration to reach agreement. There is a very big future for our district, which includes renovating the parks and turning it into a modern district that people are very proud of," said Cabrera.