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Joint Letter Provides List of Qualified Candidates to Address Lack of Latino Representation in New York Redistricting Process

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For Immediate Release

May 28, 2020

Contact: Kevin Perez-Allen, [email protected]
(714) 499-4481

Elianne Ramos, [email protected]
(212) 739-7513

Eddie Cuesta, [email protected]
(646) 879-5770

Joint Letter Provides List of Qualified Candidates to Address Lack of Latino Representation in New York Redistricting Process

Letter sent by NALEO Educational Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Dominicanos USA addresses concerns

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Dominicanos USA have submitted a joint letter to New York State Assembly and Senate leadership, and Jonathan Harkavy, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, outlining concerns over the lack of Latino representation on the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). The letter also provides a list of five highly qualified individuals from the Latino community for consideration by the IRC.

Historically, the redistricting process has been used to disenfranchise minority communities, the optics of which make the exclusion of a community of 3.7 million people, particularly concerning. Latinos make up the largest minority demographic in New York, including 30 percent of New York City, yet hold only 10 percent of the state’s legislative and congressional seats.

“As the second-largest population group in the state, New York’s Latinos deserve fair representation on the newly-formed Independent Redistricting Commission,” said Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. “As these five candidates demonstrate, there is no dearth in qualified Latinos to serve on the Commission, and we know there are many more as well. Latino New Yorkers should not be shut out of a process that influences all aspects of their daily lives.”

“It is imperative that New York’s newly created independent redistricting commission reflect the rich multi-ethnic diversity of New York. Inasmuch as one out of every five New Yorker is Latino, principles of equity, fairness, and inclusion warrant Latino representation on the commission” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “LatinoJustice along with its community partners at the NALEO Educational Fund and DominicanosUSA will be closely monitoring the Commission’s appointment of its final two members.”

"Latinos constitute the largest minority community in New York State with Dominicans making up close to one million, a significant portion of our state's Latino population. Thus, it is imperative that we are represented in the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC),” said Eddie Cuesta, Executive Director of Dominicanos USA. “We wholeheartedly support and join LatinoJustice PRLDEF and NALEO Educational Fund in advocating for fair representation of Latinos in New York State’s IRC. We believe the five candidates included in this letter are highly qualified Latinos who will accurately represent our community.”

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About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

About LatinoJustice PRLDEF
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more information about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org

About Dominicanos USA
Dominicanos USA (“DUSA”) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan organization founded in 2013. DUSA is dedicated to mobilizing and empowering the Dominican-American community through civic, social, and economic integration.