Summit on Latinos: NYC Top Latino Leaders Create Action Agenda

New York City’s most prominent Latino leaders, activists, politicians and members of the Latino communities gathered at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social work today at the first Summit on Latinos (SOL): “Shaping the Future of New York City”, where they established an action agenda to respond to urgent challenges and threats facing Latino communities.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

The Summit on Latinos was a multi-coalition effort supported by NYC’s Latino elected officials including Speaker of City Council Melissa MarkViverito; Council Members Ydanis Rodríguez, Carlos Menchaca, the city’s top academic institutions the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY, the CUNY Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, and community organizations such as the Hispanic Federation. Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Assemblywoman Carmen de la Rosa, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) and NYC’s Comptroller Scott Stringer were also present.

The HIspanic Federation was among the nonprofit organizations that participated in the historic summit.

“Given the current political climate in Washington D.C., it’s critical that we come together to strategize and mobilize to drive change for Latinos in New York City.We look forward to engaging our partners and allies in a common effort to continue to serve and uplift our community.” — Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation

SOL also represented a community response with sense of urgency to find reachable solutions to pressing issues facing the Latino community, including the hostile political climate, crisis of affordable housing, threats to immigrants rights, low graduation rates and lack of access to higher education, and lack of job opportunities.

The CUNY research institutes which convened the summit along with its sponsoring partners exceeded their expectation of creating an action agenda for advocacy coalitions.

The Summit on Latinos seeks to advance the collective interests of Latinos in the city of New York by identifying common ground on key policy areas such as health, immigration, education, civil rights, and business and workforce development, among a host of others.” — Edwin Meléndez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies 

Latinos account for one-third of New York City’s population. According to the latest census, more than 2.4 million Latinos reside in the five boroughs, making New York the city with the highest concentration of Latinos in the United States. By the end of this decade, Latinos will become the largest race/ ethnic group in NYC, which has a significant impact both on the city and its Latino communities.

“Bringing together Latino academic research entities, service providers, advocates, activists, elected officials and concerned community members to collectively identify the common needs of our communities, and to build consensus on what the policy priorities should be to address those needs, is the right way to go to confront the attacks against Latinos that are emanating from the highest places of society.” — Ramona Hernández, Director, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute

As a result of a full day of discussions, the “Summit on Latinos” reached consensus and established goals for each of the topics discussed: Education and Youth; Civil Rights and Political Engagement; Immigration; Economic Security and Improvement; Health; Criminal Justice; workers rights; race Relations and police-community relations.

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