The Hispanic Federation held a virtual press conference on Oct. 26 to unveil a policy plan that aims to raise awareness among the city’s future political leaders regarding the issues facing New York City’s Latino community.
The third edition of “La Gran Manzana: The Road Ahead for New York City’s Latino Community”, offered suggestions for expanding Latino appointments in government, curbing economic inequality, fighting discrimination, and improving education, among other topics, while describing key issues faced by 2.3 million Latino New Yorkers.
The project also suggested practical, common-sense solutions that can improve the lives of Latinos in the five counties.
“It is extremely important that we have allies [in political office], but we also need people that represent our communities, that speak like us, that understand our needs and that can specifically address us so that we can be reflected in these bills that our community needs,” said Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation, during the conference.
Due to the pandemic, Latinos have faced greater job loss, higher rates of COVID-19 infection, and a greater likelihood of evictions and hunger than their white counterparts.
It is alarming that these racial inequalities have existed for decades and have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. In New York, Latino poverty rates were twice as high as those of their white counterparts even before 2020.
With elections for the next mayor and city council members coming up on November 2, ” La Gran Manzana” project seeks to provide elected officials with a comprehensive vision of the ten areas where Latino communities could benefit the most, including building a strong safety net, investing in Latino-centered non-profits, and improving public education, in an effort to get newly elected officials to take the Hispanic community into account.
In addition, a call to action was made to the Latino community in New York to go out and vote in the upcoming election. The panelists asked the community to consider “La Gran Manzana” as a tool to help them make the best decision before voting.
Miranda said at the end of the conference that “La Gran Manzana” is the way in which organizations such as the Hispanic Federation can coordinate and dialogue with the new administration when a new council or mayor comes in.
Tuesday’s press conference also featured speakers from Latino-centered organizations, such as Coalition for Immigrant Freedom, El Puente, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, who provide policy recommendations and building blocks for a more just, humane, and equitable New York. The policy plan was developed in partnership with Hispanic Federation member agencies, 70 of which are based in New York.