Latino Leaders Blast NY Mayor de Blasio about Disrespect in City Government

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Latino groups including the National Institute for Latino Policy, the Latino Officers Association of America and Boricuas for A Positive Image have joined forces together to form the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation. They recently complained about the lack of Hispanic policy makers and board members at city agencies and said just 26 of the mayor’s 229 public appointments have been Latino. They also blasted the NYPD, saying it has only 18 Hispanics among its 166 deputy inspectors, six among its 82 chiefs and three among it 33 executive positions. See article excerpts below for more information, including data gathered by Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy:

[. . .] De Blasio received 87 percent of the Latino vote in the 2013 mayoral election. Those votes, say Latino advocates, came with the expectation that the mayor would engage the Latino community after 20 years of feeling ignored during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

Instead, they say the mayor has slighted them by not appointing enough top Latino officials, allowing the highest ranking Latino member of the NYPD to be forced out and refusing face-to-face meetings. [. . .] Several Latino organizations, including the National Institute for Latino Policy, the Latino Officers Association of America and Boricuas for A Positive Image have banded together to form the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation.

The organization wants to take de Blasio to task for the number of high-ranking Latinos in his nearly year-old administration and plans to blast the mayor Monday on the steps of City Hall.

Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, said the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation has calculated that only 12 percent of de Blasio’s public appointments were Latino even though the ethnic group makes up 29 percent of the city’s population and 20 percent of the city’s workforce. “There’s the sense that he’s not giving the Latino community respect,” said Falcón. “You can’t say you have a progressive agenda and then ignore Latinos.”

According to Falcón’s research, of the 26 publicly announced appointments as of the end of September, most are concentrated in the Department of Education, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Mayor’s office instead of being spread out through the administration.

Of three recent de Blasio appointments to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, none were Latino. The city’s Human Rights Commission has one Latino on the executive board. “Latinos were one of the two groups that helped elect this mayor and his appointments don’t reflect that,” Jimenez said.

The Campaign for Fair Latino Representation says de Blasio has been especially disappointing when it comes to diversity in the NYPD. In September, Rafael Pineiro, the former first deputy commissioner and the highest ranking Latino in the police department, resigned after being forced out by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who wanted to pick his own first deputy commissioner. After the heir apparent for the job, Phillip Banks III, the department’s highest ranking African-American, abruptly resigned, Bratton appointed Benjamin Tucker to the role in a matter of days. Tucker, who is also African-American, received a lukewarm response from prominent black leaders and the mayor’s strongest allies in the black community.

“For Latinos, it looks like they picked someone just because he was an African-American and a Latino wasn’t even given consideration for the job,” said retired NYPD Sgt. Anthony Miranda, head of the National Latino Officers Association of America. “We are at the point where we are protesting like it’s back in the 1960s. It should have never gotten to this point.” The group says de Blasio has declined repeated requests for a sit-down to discuss their concerns.

[. . .] Latino Councilmen Ritchie Torres and Ydanis Rodriguez dismissed the criticism of de Blasio’s treatment of the Latino community. “One third of the city budget is education and the last time I checked the schools chancellor is a Latina woman named Carmen Fariña,” said Torres, a member of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Rodriguez pointed to high-ranking Latino appointments such as Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli and Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion. “He’s committed to making his administration as diverse as the city is. He’s new. He’s only been here for a short period of time,” Rodriguez said.

[. . .] Kenneth Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College, said de Blasio could have a serious problem among his strongest supporters in the city if he does not take some action on the concerns being expressed by Latino leaders.

For full article, see http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141117/civic-center/latino-leaders-blast-de-blasio-about-disrespect-city-government

Also see http://www.amny.com/news/latinos-woefully-underrepresented-in-de-blasio-administration-group-charges-1.9627373 and http://nypost.com/2014/11/17/latinos-abandoning-de-blasio-over-public-appointments/ (photo above from the latter)

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