Hope, and Battles Ahead, for Hispanics after Tuesday’s Election

Colombian Edelmira Quintero (right) (Photo via El Diario)

[Below are excerpts from a story by El Diario’s Edwin Martínez.]

The New York election drew the expected results: Bill de Blasio will remain the city’s mayor for the next four years. The incumbent promised that he will continue to defend the progressive agenda and the protection of immigrants that he has been promoting during his first term.

(…)

At the voting site on 50th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, less than half of the people who were registered to vote showed up to cast a ballot.

“I think the rain kept people away, because there is almost no one inside,” said Colombian-born Edelmira Quintero after voting, admittedly for the current mayor. “I want him to win because he has done a good job, not just regarding education, but regarding security and supporting immigrants.”

Similarly, Zoraida Santos, from the Dominican Republic, who requested permission at her job as a cook in a Manhattan restaurant to go vote, said that she voted for the current local leader, adding that her vote was not only meant to help him get re-elected but also to protest the Trump administration.

“De Blasio and New York City council members have been brave enough to scream in crazy Trump’s face and tell him that this city will not allow his offenses and abuses, and they have done so by taking action. That is worth applauding,” said Santos as she took shelter from the rain.

(…)

“Now we will breathe easy”

[Below are excerpts from another Edwin Martínez story.]

Democrat Phil Murphy’s promise to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state, promote a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour and invest more in higher education bore fruit as he won the election on Tuesday and became the new governor of the Garden State.

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The Democrat’s victory effectively puts an end to the Republican regime that had ruled New Jersey for the last eight years. Activists and immigrants did not hide their excitement about the new political path on which the Big Apple’s neighbors are about to embark.

“Things happened the way they were meant to happen. This state was in need of a new direction,” said Peruvian-born Juan Costa, a resident of Union City, New Jersey. “Murphy’s victory is also a defeat for Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

Edison Hernández, from Make the Road New Jersey, pointed out that the Democratic candidate’s triumph opens the door for hope for the immigrant community.

“Murphy promised that he would raise the minimum wage to $15, issue driver’s licenses and protect Dreamers,” said Hernández, from Uruguay.

Waitress Rosa Aguirre shared this sentiment. Even though she was unable to vote due to her immigration status, she agrees that the state’s change of course will translate into more protections for immigrants.

“The way things are right now with Gov. Christie, you feel scared all the time because he is a friend of Trump’s. Now we will be able to breathe easy,” she said.

(…)

A new Hispanic speaker?

[Below are excerpts from a Queens Latino story on just re-elected Council member Ydanis Rodríguez]

Ydanis Rodríguez, council member for District 10, asked the Latino community for their support to help him become the leader of that political body for the next four years.

During a tour of some areas in his district, in which he thanked supporters for voting for him to remain their council member for a new term, (…) Rodríguez highlighted the importance of allowing the work initiated by the current City Council speaker [Melissa Mark-Viverito] to be continued by another Hispanic politician.

“Because a Hispanic politician knows the needs of this community well and will offer solutions that benefit this group,” said the council member.

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Rodríguez has repeatedly pointed out the need for Hispanics to occupy more political and public positions.

“Because it is not right that, in this city, where 30 percent of the population is Hispanic, only 14 percent of all public seats are occupied by members of this ethnic group. (…)”

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