Pedro Espada, the head of the nonprofit Soundview HealthCare Network, is sending campaign-like mailings (“From the Desk of Pedro Espada, Jr.”) from the organization’s office offering things like “free mammography mobile screenings” and “free fruits and vegetables.”
These mailings were handed over by a reader who lives in the Bronx. Three of the mailings were sent out in May and June and a fourth had no date stamped on the envelope.
By advertising the group’s legitimate work, Espada, who served in the State Senate representing the neighboring district, can reap the political benefit of raising his profile and being in contact with the public in a favorable way. Which just speaks to the benefit of running a local nonprofit while also running for office.
“This is obviously someone who doesn’t understand my track record,” Espada said to me, referring to anyone who would raise questions about the appropriateness of the mailings.
“I haven’t named garbage cans or buildings after myself,” he said, noting that other people in office do that without much criticism. “I named a medical center after Amadou Diallo.”
Espada was cleared of accusations that he misappropriated funds from the group back in 2000.