Abdourahamane Diallo has explained the reasons why he declared interest in running for the NYC Council District 16 election.
While explaining this, Diallo reiterated his determination to engendered significant development in the Bronx.
He said, “Seven years ago, I saw it in the span of 20 minutes. Driving a taxi to put myself through college, I dropped a passenger on the gilded streets of Manhattan’s upper east side, the perfect specimen of urban riches with manicured trees, elegant streetlamps and beautiful brownstones.
“I then headed to my home in the South Bronx, a different New York representing an ugly specimen of urban blight with abandoned buildings, broken windows, garbage littering the streets and the homeless begging for food.”
He added, “In one trip I saw the best, worst, richest, poorest, gilded and neglected like two different planets separated by a bridge.
“The Bronx once thrived in this city of riches, bustling shops, prosperous small businesses, modern housing, great schools and safe streets.”
He reacted that today the Bronx is the last, stressing that the City has the worst schools, the worst housing, the worst crime, the worst health care and the worst poverty.
He added that it’s been that way for 50 years.
“I’m tired of seeing the Bronx dead last in everything that matters. We too deserve safe streets, affordable rents, quality health care, schools that work and jobs opportunities.
“Mine is an immigrant’s story. Raised in the wretched slums of Guinea, West Africa. Forced to drop out of school in 9th grade, and get a job to help feed our family.
“Life changed forever the day I won a visa lottery to come to America. I washed dishes. Collected garbage. Delivered pizza. Drove a taxi to pay for college. Earned a degree in business. A Master’s degree on how to lift people out of poverty,” Diallo said.
“I’ve fed the hungry, helped the jobless, tutored school children. Helped immigrants and minorities go to college, get through college, get a job after college. Turned down a job on Wall Street to run for City Council.
“To America I owe everything. I love our country. I love New York. I will never be ashamed to say that. But it’s time for America and New York to do better by the Bronx.
“Safe neighborhoods, where people can walk down the street absent fear of getting mugged. A Bronx with no gangs. Quality housing with affordable rents. Better schools for our kids. Medical clinics in our communities.
“Neighborhoods with decent grocery stores. Tax free commercial zones so businesses can prosper. Jobs with wages that reward work.
New York will rise again. It’s time the Bronx rises with it,” he concluded.