I've been told that an African American will never represent the 180th District as an elected official in any capacity.
It has been mentioned to me that the Latino community in the 180th District, which accounts for about 64% of the population, will never elect an African American against a Latino American because it would be considered an "act of betrayal."
If we continue to make an individual's ethnicity a prerequisite and the deciding factor in electing public servants, we will continue to receive the type of corrupt, incompetent and weak government the 180th District has endured for decades. Continuing to vote for Angel Cruz, the incumbent State Representative from the 180th District or Jonathan Ramos who has lost to him on two occasions based upon his being Latino is as flawed as Mitt Romney's view that a corporation is an individual or the misguided opinions that say Barack Obama is not fit to lead the Republic because of his African American heritage. This kind of thinking has held the 180th district back for far too long; we can do better.
Fact: As a resident I've witnessed very little of the legislative successes of Mr. Cruz and I'm deeply troubled by his lack of effective governing. One thing is clear however--Mr. Cruz has won re-election several times, so defeating him will not be an easy task.
Since his second straight defeat to Mr. Cruz, (2008 and 2010) Jonathan Ramos has been nonexistent in the community. He hasn't produced any plan on how to revitalize the 180th District. Mr. Ramos, as you will remember in 2010, was involved in attempting to unseat Angel Cruz by cheating. He received resources from Ms. Renee Tartaglione, a city worker which she and Mr. Ramos knew was "highly inappropriate." Tartaglione would eventually resign from her post.
In my opinion, neither Mr. Cruz or Mr. Ramos represent the needs and concerns of more than 50,000 residents composed of Puerto Ricans, Colombian Americans, Dominican Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasian Americans and African Americans residing in the 180th District. It appears that the only action plan that has been acted upon has been based on "unethical violations and arrogance".
I do believe as an African American, a resident of the 180th District and a candidate for state representative in 2012, I can win. I have a plan--a written initiative that can improve the 180th District. There those who may not agree with my "Vision" plan and "Feed the Children" bill and that is to be expected. However, there is a stark contrast between empty rhetoric and policy that will garner results.
Conversely, I issue a challenge to the incumbent, Mr. Cruz, candidate Jonathan Ramos and anyone else seeking the office of state representative for the 180th District to a series of public debates and let the residents decide which one of us is worthy to lead the community to prosperity.
I am also asking that the residents of the community in which I wish to serve carefully weigh the character, integrity & willingness to work for the people as a measure of standard when voting in the 2012 primary election for state representative. It is time we vote for an individual, not an ethnicity. I am committed to serving my community, not my own self interests.
"Progressives will bring balance to the Republic"
Anthony P. Johnson, Candidate for State Representative 180th District, 2012