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Ramon Jimenez for attorney general

September 16, 2010

Ramon Jimenez, July 2009. Photo credit, Fred R. Conrad, NYTimes.

He wants to be attorney general in New York. I’m an  “outsider,”  he said. “I’m the type of person who can look at legislation and go after the people who are corrupt,  stealing from the tax payer.”

Ramon Jimenez is an heir to  a legal tradition of Puerto Rican lawyers trained at Harvard, following in the footsteps of Don Pedro Albizu Campos (1893-1891), while the  images of a young Albizu hangs on his office  wall along with baseball player Roberto Clemente both Puerto Rican men of African-descent as Mr. Jimenez.

And he doesn’t have a problem associating  the freedom struggles of Puerto Ricans to African-Americans reason why he is able to embrace the Freedom Party and its mission, extending to the days of  Fannie Lou Hamer , a founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964,  the 68 delegates challenging the all white Mississippi delegates to the Democratic Convention.

Albizu Campos attended Harvard University the élite private school  in the 1913 and  again 1919 after a stint in the U.S.  Military.

Campos graduated in the 1920s returned to Puerto Rico to practice law after he  forfeited a  corporate career in the legal profession instead dedicated himself to  the Puerto Rican struggle as a People’s Lawyer.

He led the Nationalist Party eventually dying in November 1965  from a stroke,as well as the radiation that entered his body as the result of the U.S. conducting experiments on naïve  and unsuspecting prisoners from 1950s through 1970s in La Princesa Penitentiary in  San Juan.

And attorney general candidate, Ramon Jimenez like  Albizu Campos,  has a combative spirit that prepared him to be the attorney general of New York State in his daily struggles as a “Peoples Lawyer” in the South Bronx.

He’s  running in the November general election under the Freedom Party line with  two other candidates from NYC Council Member Charles Barron for Governor and  retired educator and local Buffalo historian Eva Doyle, for Lt. Governor.

He believes  “the role of the attorney general all around New York State is “to protect the interest of little people, the working people, the middle class people in New York State.  That’s why I’m running for attorney general.”

The trio stopped in Buffalo on an upstate  New York campaign tour, marching in the Puerto Rican Day Parade on Saturday, September 11, 2010 on Niagara Street, West Side of Buffalo.

The New York Times featured a story, “Mirroring Sotomayor, for a While at Least.” Mr. Jimenez said, “I feel a pride watching her,” We took different directions in life, but I certainly feel a kinship.”

And, ” when you think about how many Puerto Ricans were in Ivy League law schools in the ’70s, you have to feel a kinship.”

He skipped graduation at Harvard, instead hopped on a $9.95 Greyhound bus and went home to New York City, never looking back.

His mother was a seamstress working nearly 50 years in sweatshops, the young Jimenez would play hooky just to follow her to work some days, the “experience continuing to inspire him today.”

That’s why he feels a kinship with working-class Americans “little people, the working people, come through the door over here, and they remind me of my mother.”

In his 36 years as a lawyer, he’s been at the forefront of  the struggles for working Americans from diverse walks of life from protesting the closing of Hostos Community College in the mid-1970s, a 20-day occupation that landed him in jail with forty other protestors, to issuing with a colleague a mock Subpoena to Mayor Edward Koch, opposing budget cuts during his administration.

And a testament to his dedication to defending the rights of the people happened when he resigned from a promising career as an administrative law judge for the State Workers’ Compensation Board eventually, leaving the “fast-food-justice” job critical of the 90-a-case workload.

Mr. Jimenez faces Eric Schneiderman all of his former opponents losing in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, September 14,2010, backing his candidacy now  though Andrew Cuomo  would rather not see him  as his successor  for the attorney general in the November general election.

Yet, they worked well together when both men fought to oust former Senator Hiram Monserrat from his Senate seat what many viewed as two Albany insiders questionable conduct  because neither the State Constitution or the rules of the Senate adequately had addressed expulsion from the Senate for someone with only  a misdemeanor conviction.

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