tapper
Marlene Tapper

The most contested primary race in New York City this year is in the 15th Congressional district in the Bronx, where 12 people are vying for the Democratic nomination to replace the retiring Rep. José Serrano. If submitted, City Limits will publish one op-ed supporting each candidate.


I have been following the 15th Congressional District race up in the Bronx for several weeks now. The race is filled with many contestants who are eager to take the seat being vacated by Representative Jose Serrano, and to continue their political careers, due to a myriad of reasons some of which are term limitations, failure to achieve other coveted political seats in the city, and maybe some who have simply worn out their welcome in the political seats they currently hold. Then some, depending on their political affiliations and supporters, are being pushed to take their message nationally and achieving the prestigious title of Representative in the United States Congress, which would place them in the position of fighting for and highlighting the special issue groups which are backing their campaigns for the seat in Washington, D.C.

There are so many high-profile and controversial names in the ring such as Ruben Diaz Sr., Ritchie Torres, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez, Samelys Lopez, Michael Blake and a few more. It must make district residents’ heads spin. I can read their minds now: Who should I vote for? Who will represent the district residents, advocate for our needs and our collective hope for a brighter future? They will also be wondering the following: Who can we really trust? Who will go to Washington, D.C. and start hobnobbing with the rich, the powerful, the multi-national corporations, and the big political parties? Who will hit the ground running by collecting funds for their next political race and completely forgetting the many issues this district faces? Who will create the jobs we all need to survive?

The people in the 15th District are frightfully aware that they reside in one of the poorest collections of neighborhoods in the nation. They are also keenly aware that many of those big-name candidates and not-so-big-name candidates, who are running for the House of Representatives seat in the district, may be self-serving. I think after years of little change it would be wise to pick someone who could be the vaccine of hope and change the neighborhood so desperately needs.

I would like to make a suggestion to the voters in the Bronx 15th Congressional District. You need a “Breath of Fresh Air” in this highly contested race of familiar faces and names running for office.

I would vote for Ms. Marlene Tapper! I know that Marlene Tapper is exactly the person you are looking for to represent you in the House of Representatives. She understands the life of a single mother or parent. She knows what it is like to support and raise a family on a single income or no income. She knows what it is like to be from an immigrant family that struggles every day to make enough money to feed and clothe itself. She realizes how important a great education is for our children and our adults. She is not controlled by corporations, political affiliations, newspapers, or special interest groups.

Ms. Tapper can be trusted to hit the ground running in Washington, and to help everyone in her district obtain the “American Dream” even if that dream has not been passed into law yet. She is exactly the person who has enough grit, intelligence and determination to draft and pass “The American Dream” into a law.

What the district needs is someone who grew up understanding how to hold a family together and how to keep pushing to make a better life for her family and community. It will be a shame if Marlene is not elected to the seat, because she is not controlled by any outside group and she is the one that the powers above have sent to help. She who cannot be bought or persuaded to abandon her mission for each and every resident residing in the 15th Congressional District in the Bronx.


Lawrence Kenchen is a political analyst and writer.

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