(Courtesy of the Bronx Borough President)

Ruben Diaz Jr is urging Bronx residents to take part in the 2020 Census.

This week, he kicked off the #BronxCounts campaign. The social media initiative asks local middle and high school students to share why they think the survey is important, then post their responses to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag.

The upcoming census and the borough’s growing and diverse population, were also a focus during Diaz Jr’s State of the Borough address. The speech highlighted both the progress and the potential of the Bronx.

His voice boomed throughout Veterans’ Memorial Hall in the Bronx County Building.

Standing behind a podium lined with crushed blue velvet, Diaz held impeccable posture as he delivered his 10th, state of the borough speech.

Part of a daylong series of events designed to highlight the last 10 years since Diaz took office, the borough president’s Feb 20 speech also included an award ceremony for people and organizations that have contributed to the borough and his own success.

“None of this is accomplished through one individual,” Diaz said of the immense changes which have taken place in the Bronx over the last decade. “If we stay as committed as we have been over the last 10 years, the best is yet to come.”

As for the Bronx’s future, it will include a new borough president.

Widely seen as a frontrunner to replace Bill de Blasio in next year’s mayoral election, Diaz shocked the city when he announced last month that he would not only be staying out of the mayor’s race but said he will be leaving politics entirely after next year.

In the meantime, Diaz Jr. said he will work to ensure that the Bronx is not undercounted in the upcoming census. He will also focus on the completion of projects he thinks will help the borough thrive, like the Kingsbridge National Ice Center and the restoration of Orchard Beach. He is also dedicating his time to the completion of the Bronx Children’s Museum and the Universal Hip Hop Museum which are set to open in the borough.

“I don’t have free time yet. I’m not leaving tomorrow,” he said.

Diaz Jr.’s current term ends on January 31st 2021.

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