With the election just around the corner, I want to take a moment to share a few thoughts about the team that can best lead our city for the next four years.

Roberto Lopez is a successful small business owner and the founder of the Bellas Artes Business Council, an umbrella and advocacy organization. He was elected previously to a single term on the City Council in 2003, becoming then New Rochelle’s first and only Hispanic elected official.

District 1 map. Click for larger image.

While we served together, and in the time before and since, I found Roberto to be a very shrewd judge of character, a determined neighborhood advocate, and a constructive partner on major city-wide goals. Beyond his professional skills is a personal story that truly embodies the American Dream. Roberto arrived in the United States with almost nothing and then achieved great success through hard work and force of will.

Roberto narrowly lost his reelection bid four years ago, and it’s to his credit that he grew from that experience. As much as I admired the Roberto Lopez with whom I served from 2004 to 2007, the Roberto Lopez with whom I am running now is even more impressive, with a broader vision for New Rochelle and a conciliatory nature that seeks to build bridges and break down walls of misunderstanding.

New Rochelle’s Hispanic population has grown dramatically in the last three decades and constitutes a super-majority within Council District 1. Because of his own personal experience, bilingual skills and standing in the community, Roberto is uniquely qualified to articulate and advance the common goals that bind together all of our residents, regardless of their heritage.