Fruitful meeting with Congressman Adriano Espaillat

José Viloria 


n Tuesday, Aug. 15, I had the opportunity to participate in what was a fruitful meeting with Congressman Adriano Espaillat, which was held in his office in the Bronx led by the beloved friend Roberto Lizardo.

In my participation, I expressed to the congressman how proud I was that he was the first Dominican to reach the U.S. Congress, but at the same time reminded him of the great challenge he has precisely for being the first.

I explained to the congressman that as an immigrant, he is a tremendous connoisseur of the problems of his constituents in the district he represents and told him about my concern about many politicians who only work to manage an apartment, read letters and offer excuses to the thousands of constituents who pass through their offices each year.

I told the congressman that I wanted to see a politician who would create seminars for small entrepreneurs to help them understand government policy, the importance of paying taxes, teach those merchants how to grow and not let them fail, and then find whoever is guilty.

I believe and trust that Adriano Espaillat will not disappoint us, grocers, taxi drivers, restaurant owners, hairdressers, tenants, but also the owners of buildings. We believe that he is an intelligent person and has the necessary experience to help his community.

Every year hundreds of small businesses close their doors, and while it is true that high rents can cause the closure of a business, it is also true that the vast majority was not prepared to face not only those increases, but also to understand government regulations.

In the case of the taxi industry, there is no exception. For taxi drivers, the problem is not the high cost of gasoline, or the constant robberies; the main problem is an ignorance of the rules of the game, the excess of fines that are so expensive and so irrational that frustrate the driver when he sees that there is no intention to educate him, but rather the objective is the fine itself. And if we talk about the taxi bases, the case is more complicated because it requires more investment, knowledge of government requirements, unfair competition from billionaire investors who not only count on their wealth, but also create alliances with the political power and produce the exact conditions for the failure of a small business.

Finally, in my conversation with Congressman Espaillat, he told the audience that it was true but that he also expected us to participate as small businessmen, because intention alone would be worthless if those who can help within the community do not.