Growing up in the Bronx, and ready to do my part


The decisions our city makes in the next year will shape the next decade. That makes the selection of our District 11 city council member on March 23 so important.

That person will be thrust into the middle of critical budget negotiations and various legislative bills that affect our quality of life.

One such bill is Intro. 2186 which, among other things, seeks to upzone low-density districts while limiting community input.

We need a sharp person who understands our district, knows the law, has worked with city agencies, and can make difficult decisions.

I grew up on West 238th Street and Sedgwick Avenue — across the street from Pigeon Park. I’m part of the third generation of my family to live in the working-class neighborhood of Kingsbridge.

I attended P.S. 95, J.H.S. 143 and Fordham Prep.

For better and worse, I grew up in the Bronx of the 1980s. With more than 2,000 murders per year, we were aware of the dangers of the city. Navigating our surroundings made us tougher than most, and my experience shaped who I am today. Growing up here instilled in me my sharp instincts, common sense, and a never-quit mindset.

I have a bachelor’s degree in economics and a juris doctor. During law school, I represented the United States in the International Negotiation Competition in Singapore. I’m a local attorney who works for neighbors in the purchase and sale of their homes. I often provide free legal services and information to tenants who have housing disputes.

I teach mock trial to seventh graders back at P.S. 95. As an attorney, I regularly interpret laws and draft documents based on those laws — a skill set that is essential for a city council member.

For 12 years, I have served on Community Board 8 — three as board chair, eight as chair of the traffic and transportation committee, and four as vice chair of the land use committee. I’ve stood in front of our schools at 7:30 a.m., to watch traffic patterns, held phone conferences at 10 p.m., and attended four-hour meetings to advocate for our community with many folks reading this Point of View.

I’ve run nearly a thousand community meetings to work on local issues in collaboration with city agencies, elected officials, community groups, local businesses and our residents.

A well-led government has the ability to help those in need and make life better for people in our area. My first priority is to establish a responsive and efficient office to address constituent services.

I will fight to keep families in their homes, create new models of affordable housing, implement community-based planning measures, stimulate the local economy, work with school administrators and teachers to address pandemic-related educational deficiencies, monitor proper implementation of environmental laws, advocate for low-income New Yorkers, and ensure that senior citizens and people with disabilities have a voice in city hall.

My background uniquely qualifies me to represent the northwest Bronx. I understand the pulse and needs of our neighborhoods, and the values that bind us.

On March 23, I ask that you elect me to city council to effectively serve your needs.

I am grateful for those who have endorsed me in this race, including Assemblyman Michael Blake, Bill Samuels, Dionel Then and the Northwest Bronx Democrats.

The author is a candidate for city council in the March 23 special election.

Have an opinion? Share your thoughts as a letter to the editor. Make your submission to letters@riverdalepress.com. Please include your full name, phone number (for verification purposes only), and home address (which will not be published). The Riverdale Press maintains an open submission policy, and stated opinions do not necessarily represent the publication.
Dan Padernacht,