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LatinoJustice and Partners Applaud Appointment of Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina to New York Independent Redistricting Commission

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October 7, 2020

CONTACT:
Elianne Ramos, [email protected]

LatinoJustice and Partners Applaud Appointment of
Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina to New York Independent Redistricting Commission
 
LatinoJustice and partner advocacy groups
had advocated for Latino representation on IRC

 

New York, N.Y.  –LatinoJustice PRLDEF joined by New York community partners The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Dominicanos USA, and the Hispanic Federation applaud the recent appointment of Fordham University Professor Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina to the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) on September 30, 2020. LatinoJustice and our partners had for the past six months had advocated with the Governor and the NYS Legislative leadership to correct their omission of any Latino representation on the Commission. The redistricting process has often been used to disenfranchise minority communities, the optics of which made the potential exclusion of the Latino community particularly concerning.  Latinos make up the largest minority demographic in New York, including 30 percent of New York City.

In April, LatinoJustice had sent a letter decrying the Legislative leadership’s collective failure to appoint a Latino among the initial eight commissioners appointed to the IRC.
 
In May, LatinoJustice joined with the NALEO Educational Fund and Dominicanos USA to send
a joint letter to New York State Assemblywoman and Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force Maritza Davila and the State Assembly & Senate Majority and Minority leadership to address concerns over the failure to appoint a single Latino to the IRC.  Our joint letter identified five independent well-qualified Latino candidates including Dr. Cuevas-Molina whom the groups had thoroughly vetted for the remaining two independent Commissioner seats.

“It is critical that New York’s Independent Redistricting Commission purports to actually reflect New York’s rich, multi-ethnic diversity.  Inasmuch as one out of every five New Yorker is Latino, principles of equity, fairness, and inclusion mandate Latino representation on the Commission,” said José Pérez, Deputy General Counsel and Legal Director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.  “LatinoJustice joins our partner organizations in saluting the Commission’s appointment of Fordham University Professor Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina to fill one of the two independent Commissioner slots as a belated first step towards having a seat at the table.”

“The historic appointment of Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina to the New York Independent Redistricting Commission is an important first step toward the fair and accurate representation of Latinos in the state,” said Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund Chief Executive Officer.  “We are impressed with our partners’ commitment and advocacy on behalf of the Latino community across the state.  Dr. Cuevas-Molina is extremely well-qualified and will serve as a critical advocate for fairness and inclusion throughout the redistricting process.”
  
“We congratulate Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina for her appointment as a Commissioner to New York State’s Independent Redistricting Commission - making her the first and only Latina to ever hold this position,” said Eddie Cuesta, National Director of Dominicanos USA.  “Dominicanos USA is proud to have joined LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Hispanic Federation, and NALEO Educational Fund in advocating for fair and equitable representation of Latinos on the Independent Redistricting Commission.  We thank the Commissioners for ensuring Latino representation in this essential and consequential democratic process.”
 
“We offer our congratulations to Professor Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina on her appointment to New York’s Independent Redistricting Commission.  This appointment is reflective of the New York Senate and Assembly’s commitment to ensuring that the work the Commission will do is representative of the people of New York,” said Frankie Miranda, President of Hispanic Federation.  “The redistricting process will have an enormous impact on the lives of Latinos in New York, and it is critical that it begins and ends with all New Yorkers feeling confident that they are represented and seen.”

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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 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 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.