La Gran Manzana: The Road Ahead
New York, NY Thursday, September 19, 2013 – With just over 100 days left in Mayor Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure, Latino community leaders descended on New York City Hall to release a comprehensive policy blueprint intended to inform the city’s next mayor, city council and other government officials on how to best respond to the needs and aspirations of the city’s 2.3 million Latino residents. The report – La Gran Manzana: The Road Ahead for New York City’s Latino Community – includes over 150 recommended reforms and investments covering nine major issues and constituencies including economic empowerment, education, immigrants, civil rights, women and strengthening Latino nonprofit organizations. The policy blueprint was compiled and written by the Hispanic Federation (HF) in partnership with over 60 NYC member agencies, who comprise some of the leading nonprofit institutions across the city.
“Millions of Latinos across the city are closely watching the mayoral candidates to see who really speaks to their issues and many are still deciding who to vote for in November. La Gran Manzana is a policy blueprint that proposes dozens of needed reforms that all candidates and elected officials should support and adopt to better the lives of the city’s 2.3 million Latinos,“ said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation.
Hispanic Federation is a non-partisan nonprofit organization that has advanced policy reforms and engaged voters and candidates for decades. Already this year the Federation has co-convened two candidate forums, three televised debates, six meetings with mayoral candidates and registered and mobilized over 10,000 city voters in 2013. Many HF member agencies have also conducted similar forum and voter outreach. As Latinos make up one fourth of city registered voters, the Federation and the city’s network of Latino nonprofit organizations will ensure that the “Road to City Hall Runs Through the Latino Community.”
“The prevention and access to care needs of Latinos/Hispanics in New York are complex and diverse, and we need leadership to address these challenges. My hope is that the next Mayor of New York City will renew a solid commitment in keeping a robust AIDS agenda to increase access to health care to those in need and demonstrate zero tolerance to homophobia and discrimination,” stated Guillermo Chacón, President of the Latino Commission AIDS.
“As the Big Apple has always been a gateway and home to millions of immigrants throughout our nation’s history, our next mayor and city council must continue that proud legacy and strengthen efforts to support immigrant students, families and workers in their pursuit of the American dream. For far too long, immigrant workers have help run this city without sufficient protections and support and the next mayor must improve conditions for the city’s essential workers including day laborers, nails salon workers, restaurant employees, taxi drivers and many others,” said Gonzalo Mercado, Executive Director of El Centro del Inmigrante.