CB 3 Leadership Not Diverse, Member Charges

CB3 member Ayo Harrington charges that leadership positions are not being given to African Americans and Latinos (Photo by Lesley Sussman via The Villager)

CB3 member Ayo Harrington charges that leadership positions are not being given to African Americans and Latinos (Photo by Lesley Sussman via The Villager)

Community Board 3 member Ayo Harrington has charged the CB’s chairperson Gigi Li with “consistently and regularly” failing to appoint Afro-American and Latino members to chair committees, subcommittees and task forces, reports Lesley Sussman of The Villager.

At a recent CB meeting, Li took umbrage at the charges made by Harrington, an African American.

A visibly upset Li angrily denied the suggestion that race played any role in her decision-making. She told Harrington that as a Chinese-American woman, “the issue of diversity is not lost on me. It’s something I think about every single day.”

Harrington documented Li’s pattern of overlooking African American and Latino candidates for board positions in a letter she wrote to Li and the Manhattan borough president, and the city’s district office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now investigating Harrington’s allegations. In February, a local businessman on the Lower East Side lamented the lack of Latino representation on CB 3.

According to The Villager:

The controversy began last year when Harrington, who has an extensive background in children’s education, asked Li to be named as the replacement for the outgoing chairperson of C.B. 3’s Human Services, Health, Disability & Seniors/Youth & Education Committee.

In Harrington’s letter — copies of which were distributed at Tuesday’s meeting — she said that Li told her “a member had to be on the community board for a year before being considered” for a chairmanship.

Two other board members — one of whom is African American — asked to jointly co-chair the committee, says Harrington, but were rejected by Li, who said that CB 3’s bylaws do not allow for committee co-chairpersons. Yet Li subsequently named two white members to be co-chairs, one of whom had served on the board for only six months.

Harrington continued, writing, “In the past year there have been several opportunities for chair appointments…yet not one has resulted in a Black or Latino being appointed as a committee chair by you.

“Currently, there are eleven White and three Asian members who chair all the committees, replicating a pattern of Black and Latino exclusion from appointed leadership on the community board.”

To read more about the controversy, go to the original article.

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  1. Pingback: CB3 Leadership Challenged - Voices of NY

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