Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Latino leader rips de Blasio over lack of Hispanic appointments
“Despite his broad progressive policy agenda, his administration has developed a blind spot when it comes to his appointment of Latinos at levels reflective of our size of New York City’s population,” said Angelo Falcon, director of the National Institute for Latino Policy.
“At last count, despite making up 29 percent of the population, Latinos were only 12 percent or less of de Blasio’s appointments, the biggest disparity among the city’s racial-ethnic groups,” Falcon complained in his group’s newsletter sent out Monday via e-mail.
There are a number of Hispanics in top positions in the administration.
Liliam Barrios Paoli is the deputy mayor for health and human services and Carmen Fariña is the schools chancellor.
Gladys Carrion heads the Administration of Children Services, Kathryn Garcia is the sanitation commissioner and Marco Carrion heads the mayor’s community affairs unit.
But Falcon complained that a majority of the 26 top Hispanic mayoral appointments are concentrated in only three agencies — the mayor’s office, the Department of Education and the mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
“The result is that Latinos are not a significant presence in policy-making positions in most of the city’s agencies,” he said.
“And despite repeated requests by Latino community leaders for a meeting to remedy this problem, the mayor has chosen to ignore these voices of concern,” said Falcon, who then compared de Blasio to the last “progressive” mayor, David Dinkins.
“Will history repeat itself? Quien sabe? [who knows?]”
Other Latino leaders were willing to cut de Blasio some slack.
“We need to give him time to put the hirings in place. The mayor is moving in the right direction,” said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brookyn), chairman of the state Legislature’s Hispanic Task Force.
“In comparison to . . . Bloomberg and Giuliani, he’s doing a good job.”
De Blasio’s office defended the Latino representation in his government — but didn’t dispute Falcon’s figures.
“The mayor and his leadership team are committed to increasing the representation of Latinos, African-Americans, and Asian American and Pacific Islanders across the administration,” said mayoral spokeswoman Marti Adams.
“ We have been very clear in our intention to build an administration that is representative of all New Yorkers and we are proud of the diverse team that we have built to date.”