Silver does not appoint a Latino to the State Assembly leadership
I was extremely disappointed with the news that Speaker Sheldon Silver did not appoint any Latinos, not one single Latino, to any of Assembly's Leadership positions for 2009-2010 legislative session. This raises questions on the importance Latinos are for the Speaker, and I hope that our Latino leaders in the Assembly do not let this pass as if it has no importance.
On December 30th, 2008, I issued a statement calling for the Speaker to consider selecting one or more of our 11 Latino Assembly members. While I did not support any one Assembly member, I was hoping to see Assembly Peter Rivera (no relation to me) selected to a position with the Assembly's Leadership. As the longest-serving Latino lawmaker in New York State, Assemblyman Rivera had definitely earned it and would have been the ideal candidate. But Speaker Silver has failed to recognize the importance Latinos play in this city and state.
If this does not change by the next session, I will make sure that the Speaker hears the voice of Latinos. We will pay him a visit at his home and his office. Maybe then the Speaker will give Latinos the opportunity we have earned in the state.
In the meantime, I would like to remind the Speaker that the 64th district has undergone some demographic shifts since he was first elected and elections are every two years, not in four or six.
I am also ready, willing and able to stand shoulder to shoulder with any of our Latino Assembly members who is/are willing to stand up for the fight. Unity works, just look at the recent results in the State Senate where "The Three Amigos" (Senators Espada, Diaz and Krueger) stood with each other from beginning to end and now the Senate has Latinos in the leadership. It takes courage and we will all be waiting to see who has it. -- Haile Rivera
Haile Rivera is a resident of the Bronx (University Heights), former Obama Field Organizer and Founder of Hands On New York, Inc.
Photo of Haile Rivera