Dominicans Complain About Representation in the Bronx

Rubén Díaz Jr. says his office has not received any complaints about Dominican representation (Photo via El Diario/La Prensa)

Rubén Díaz Jr. says his office has not received any complaints about Dominican representation. (Photo via El Diario/La Prensa)

Several leaders of the Dominican community in the Bronx are expressing displeasure, in the media, with the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. saying that Dominicans don’t occupy senior roles there even though about 200,000 Dominicans reside in the borough.

“There is not a single Dominican who is part of the cabinet or who sits at the negotiating table,” said Luis Alfredo Collado, a local journalist who has written columns on the subject.

Máximo Padilla, of the Committee of Dominicans Abroad (El Comité del Dominicano en el Exterior, or CODEX), and a resident of the borough for more than 30 years, said that the situation is unacceptable. “We are a community that has advanced and we came here to make progress and that’s why we should be taken into account,” he said.

The complaint arises in the wake of the appointment of Dominican Aldrin Rafael Bonilla as vice president by the Manhattan borough president. In Brooklyn a former council member who has Dominican roots, Diana Reyna, was appointed as vice president of the borough.

Upper Manhattan has been the main enclave of the Dominican community but due to high rental costs the community has been displaced, causing a vast majority to relocate to the Bronx.

Diaz said via his representative John DeSio, that his staff is “extremely diverse.” Also he commented that “no one has bothered to complain to us about this,” mentioning that his press secretary, Dayana Perez, is one of two employees of Dominican origin.

Padilla admitted that they have not made their complaint official yet but said they plan to have community meetings about the issue in the next couple of days.

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