Angelo Falcón (NiLP) writes about the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade in the context of the present $72 billion debt crisis. In view of the current state of affairs, he recommends reading the late Ramón J. Jiménez’s piece “Questions Still Plaguing the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc.” (3 March 2015), “to remind everyone of the important questions Ramon raised about the parade and its relationship to the Puerto Rican community.” Here are excerpts from Falcón’s introduction and a link to the 2015 article below:
This Sunday, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade marches down New York’s Fifth Avenue at a time when the Puerto Rican people possibly face one of their biggest collective challenges as Puerto Rico faces a massive $72 billion debt crisis with no clear resolution. The theme of the parade this year are “Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces” (One Nation, Many Voices) and is dedicated to the Puerto Rican town of Arecibo and the Puerto Rican community of Florida with a Special Awareness Campaign on Marriage Equality and LGBT rights.
The more than 5 million stateside Puerto Ricans join with the 3.5 million in Puerto Rico in a show of unity and strength, highlighting some of our best and brightest in the persons of Edna Nazario (Grand Marshal), Carmelo Anthony (Parade King), Rosario Dawson (Parade Queen), Adam Rodriguez (Godfather), Giselle Blondet (Godmother) and many others. This year the parade will be televised on WABC-TV and can be viewed online at http://abc7ny.com/live/
Celebrating this year its 59th anniversary, the parade was the subject of a controversial investigation a couple of years ago by the NYS Attorney General responding to complaints from the Puerto Rican community of its financial and other mismanagement. This resulted in the reorganization of its Board of Directors and the removal of bad actors. The person leading the charge for these changes was civil rights attorney Ramon Jimenez, who passed away a couple of weeks ago after a long battle with cancer. Following the first anniversary of the changes resulting from this investigation, Ramon wrote a Guest Commentary for us raising questions about whether sufficient changes had taken place with the parade’s new leadership to make it fully community-oriented and accountable. [. . .]
[From NiLP: Ramon Jimenez, Esq. was a lifetime community activist, mentor/advisor, and writer, at various times a radio host, journalist, professor, and lecturer. He has been a South Bronx litigator (and agitator), representing low-income families, injured workers, community groups and others in the poorest Congressional district in the country. He successfully fought to save Hostos Community College and achieved the rebuilding of blighted neighborhoods like Charlotte Street. A well-seasoned professional, Jimenez has also served as an administrative law judge for New York State Workers Compensation Board. Ramon passed away on May 10, 2016 at the age of 67. He will be missed.]
For full text of Jiménez’s article, see http://informacionaldesnudo.com/questions-still-plaguing-the-national-puerto-rican-day-parade-inc/
[Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images; accessed via Fox News, http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/02/13/fraud-scandal-leaves-in-question-future-success-national-puerto-rican-day/]