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Political Profile of Jose Serrano

MulhernMr. ScottAP Government7 January 2002Political Profile of Rep. Jose SerranoRep. Jos E. Serrano of New York, Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary, and related agencies of the exclusive and powerful House Appropriations Committee, represents New York’s 16th Congressional District in the South Bronx. This district he represents is one of the most economically devastated areas in the United States. This mostly Hispanic area in South Bronx had, by the 1970s, become a symbol for the nation's urban ills. This district stretches of refuse-strewn lots and burned-out buildings that provide backdrops for politicians of both parties. Many of the politicians have prescribed varying solutions to revive the inner cities. However, residents have complained bitterly that these photo meetings have resulted in no improvements for the low-income communities of the South Bronx. There was light however of an economic turnaround that began to take root, in 1995, in the parts of the area that forms the 16th. Several neighborhoods of single-family homes and low-rise apartments have been built on vacated lots by financially supported economic development organizations, and then occupied by the working-class, minority families. These areas, as more settle, middle-class Hispanic communities in the eastern part of the 16th, provide hope for improvement. The South Bronx was overtaken by Hispanics following the end of World War II. Since 1970 it has elected Democrats of Puerto Rican origin to the House. In 1970 Herman Badillo became the first Puerto Rican to serve in Congress. In 1978, he was succeeded by Robert Garcia, and then in 1990, Serrano stepped in and has easily held the seat since. Once the province was largely of working-class white ethnics, Jews and blacks, but the 16th's territory is now 60 percent Hispanic. About a third of the residents are non-Hispanic blacks; fewer than 5 percent are non-Hispanic w...

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