In yesterday's NY Times story on Willets Point there was one item that we found disturbing. Not surprising, mind you, but disturbing because it represents a pattern of dishonest representation. We're referring to the comments of Eduardo Giraldo: "While some critics have portrayed the redevelopment of Willets Point as a class battle by a billionaire mayor intent on supplanting scrap metal with sushi, the Bloomberg administration has some unlikely allies in the project. “We see Willets Point as a form of modern-day slavery in which poor people are working in conditions worse than in their home countries,” said Eduardo Giraldo, head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens. “It is better to shut it down.”
This is the same Giraldo who has come out four square in support of Walmart in NYC-clearly a man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience; in this case, the cash nexus looms large. So Giraldo's concerns for the plight of the workers is suspect-and if the city does evict the businesses from Willets Point you will not find Giraldo within ten miles of helping the "exploited" workers find new work-his job will have been completed.
Giraldo has anointed himself as a spokesman for Hispanixs, but his group is a rump organization that is not a part of the official NYS Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. His grass roots support? When he ran for the city council in 2009 against Julissa Ferreras he was beaten in a landslide: "City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) handily defeated challenger Eduardo Giraldo to win the Democratic primary for the 21st District seat. Ferreras, the incumbent who won the seat in a special election in February after her former boss Hiram Monserrate ascended to the state Senate, had 65.9 percent of the vote compared with Giraldo’s 34.1 percent, according to city Board of Election figures. She had no known Republican opponents."
We'll give the hapless Giraldo the last word: “I think we worked hard,” Giraldo said. “We gave it 110 percent. ... I think the turnout was very low and we weren’t able to persuade the people to vote for me."