4:29 pm Feb. 23, 20121
In his State of the Borough speech today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. touted business development projects like the Kingsbridge redevelopment and a deal that lured the Queens-based FreshDirect company to the South Bronx as proof that he's creating jobs and stimulating the borough's economy. At one point in his speech, Diaz even asked City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to stand and take a bow for her work on the living wage legislation.
Diaz's message was that his borough is open for business and already yielding results.
In the audience was Diaz's predecessor, Adolfo Carrion Jr., who was critical of the role Diaz and others played in blocking the Kingsbridge project during a wage dispute. Diaz has since dropped his demands, signaling a flexibility to work with big businesses.
One reader suggested that, despite the intricacies of each deal, both Diaz and Carrion are cutting a strikingly similar profile: "Both Carrion and Diaz Jr. are prominent Latinos eyeing 2013 races and want to be seen as moderates on fiscal and economic development. Remember: Diaz Jr. recently changed his tune on Kingsbridge in order to court the same business and developer support Carrion clearly wants."
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