Latino Runs for Suffolk Legislature on Green Line

Latino Declares Candidacy [on Green Line]:
It's A Three-Way Race For Bishop's Seat in Babylon
Elizabeth Cady Brown 07/01/2005 11:56 am

"There is no democracy here, that's a main reason I've decided to run," explains Cesar Malaga, a long-shot independent candidate for the Suffolk County Legislature who is running on the Green Party line. "The chairman of the [Democratic] Party decides who runs for office, but that's not democracy. The people should choose for themselves."

Malaga declared himself a candidate for the 14th Legislative District seat at a press conference in Hauppauge on June 30, saying it is important for Latinos to be community representatives.

Despite the fact that he is a registered Democrat, the Peruvian- born Malaga could not even get the party leadership to return his phone calls asking for the opportunity to run for office to succeed Legis. David Bishop, who is leaving office due to term limits. Malaga was ultimately given a courtesy screening by the party committee, but he knew they had already decided to nominate Babylon Town Councilman Wayne Horsley.

"I don't think that's right," says Malaga. "I've been going to the Suffolk County Legislature and the LIPA [Long Island Power Authority] meetings for a long time. Now, I want to have a part in the decision-making process."

Malaga has built a strong track record of community involvement since immigrating to Brooklyn in 1957 and settling in Babylon in 1973. He worked as an electrical engineer for 35 years and is still a retired member of his union, IBEW Local #3. He is a U.S. Army veteran, president of the Hispanic-American Association, a former member of the LIRR Commuter's Council (to which he was appointed by the governor), and founder of the Village of Babylon youth soccer league. Malaga has three children and 13 grandchildren.

"Ever since I came, I have been very active," says Malaga, "and to win the election, I'm just going to campaign very hard and tell the people all the things I've done here in Babylon."

Some of the issues Malaga says he intends to focus on in the race are public transportation, housing for senior citizens and young people, protecting open space, and fighting the planned jail project in Yaphank.

"The county should defy the order to build," he says. "There is no need for the 1,280-bed jail. It's too much. If the state wants to mandate it, then they should give us the money. But they should not force us to build a jail when we do not have the money."

Malaga also argues that the county should stop selling public land to private developers to use for unaffordable housing. Instead, he proposes that the county or the towns hire contractors to build on public land and then sell that housing at prices that will allow young professionals to stay in the county and the elderly to move out of homes that have become too difficult to upkeep.

(Reprinted from the Long Island Press, July 1, 2005)

[Note: Cesar Malaga, who the Green Party of Suffolk County endorsed for Suffolk County Legislature in the 14th District, recently sent in a vote registration form to be a Green enrollee. But, under NY election law, Cesar is technically not considered a registered Green until after the November election. The Democratic Party has chosen its own candidate--Wayne Horsley. Cesar will only be running on the Green Party line.]