Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

THE BRONX AND ITS POLITICAL SYSTEM

The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of the city of New York and its name comes from the name of Bronk’s River. It is located at the northeast of Manhattan and at the south of Westchester Country and it is also considered to be the newest of the 62 counties of New York State, but it is the only borough which is not primarily located on an island.

The Bronx is also one of the boroughsof the USA with the largest percentage of black African American people. As some figures demonstrate, in 2009, the census Bureau estimated that the borough’s population on July 1, 2008, was 1,391,903 inhabiting a land area of 42 square miles, which makes the Bronx the fourth most populated of the five boroughs, the fourth largest in land area and the third highest in density of population.

The Bronx contains also one of the five poorest Congressional Districts in the U.S but it is also one of the boroughs in NY with the largest variety of neighborhoods, including the one called Morrisania.

Regarding to its political system:

Since New York City was consolidated in 1898, the Bronx  has been governed by The New York City Charter that provides for a mayor-council system. The New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services in the Bronx.

Each borough has a president, and each president has a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city’s budget and proposals for land use.

The City of New York, which also constituted the County of New York and then consisted of Manhattan with some surrounding islands, annexed the West Bronx in 1874 and the East Bronx in 1895. In 1898 the Bronx assumed its condition of being a distinct status as well as being one of the Five Boroughs of the City of Greater New York, together with Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and State Island. It was only in 1914 when the president Bronx County was formed by taking the borough’s territory out of New York County.

In 1989 the Supreme Court of the USA declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that Brooklyn, the most populous borough had no a greater and effective representation on the Board than State Island, the least populous borough, a fact that was considered to be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause to the high court’s “one man, one vote” decision.

https://i0.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3392/3583230333_d3b97ee40e.jpgSince 1990 the Borough president has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City council, the New York state government and corporations.

Until March 1, 2009, the Borough President of the borough was Adolfo Carrion Jr., elected as a democrat in 2001 and 2005 before retiring early the White house Office of Urban Affairs Policy.

Then, his successor, the Democratic New York State Assembly member, Ruben Diaz Jr., who won a special election on April, 2009 by a vote of a 86.3% on the “Bronx unity” line to 13.3% for the Republican district leader on the “People First” line, became Borough President on May 1.

All of the Bronx’s currently elected officials have first won the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Local party platforms are centered on affordable housing, education and economic development while controversial political issues in the Bronx, include environmental issues, the cost of housing and annexation of parkland for the new Yankee Stadium.

References

-First sources:

  • Twomey, Bill. “The Bronx: In Bits and Pieces“. Edited by Rooftop Publishing, 2007.
  • Harrison, Marina and Rosenfeld, Lucy. “Artwalks in New York: delightful discoveries of public art and gardens in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and State Island”, NYU Press, 2004.
  • Jenkins, Stephen. “The Story of The Bronx: From the Purchase Made by the Dutch from the Indians in 1639 to the Present Day“. Heritage books, 2007.

-Secondary sources:

Images:

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