Harlem Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito And Others Celebrate The Latino Community In NYC

Melissa-Mark-Viverito-IOU_7934Today Harlem Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Carlos Menchaca and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, and members of the Coalition for Latin American Consulates in New York (CLACNY),…

… including President of CLACNY and Consul General of Colombia Maria Isabel Nieto Jaramillo, came together at the steps of Tweed Courthouse to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the contributions of Latinos in New York City.

At the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month, Council Members and members of CLACNY stood in solidarity with the New York Immigration Coalition to recognize the challenging journey of many Latinos in the U.S. and to highlight the resilience, hard work, and myriad contributions of this diverse community in our City. 

CLACNY is a coalition of Latin American consulates that provides a platform for dialogue and the exchange of ideas and good practices for consulate offices. Represented at the press conference were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, República Dominicana, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“In New York City and around the country, the Latino identity coexists with dozens of other identities and cultures from across the world. An interaction that is source to the powerful dynamism that characterizes America’s society since its inception,” said CLACNY President and Consul General of Colombia Maria Isabel Nieto Jaramillo. “As we celebrate the month of Hispanic Heritage it is important to remember, Latinos in New York and across the United States will continue to contribute to the greatness of this country in every imaginable way.”

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina city-wide elected official, said “Latinos comprise nearly a third of NYC’s population and contribute to the City’s cultural and economic vibrancy.  We are a diverse community that continues to make tremendous impacts in all sectors from public service to business and beyond. As a testament to their work ethic and perseverance, Latinos in New York own over 199,000 businesses with sales reaching over $13 billion.  New York’s Latinos boast a purchasing power of over $95 billion dollars- an increase of 300% since 1990.  Their entrepreneurship and positive influence on the market is matched with a commitment to give back to their communities and, in 2013 alone, Latinos in New York paid $10 billion in federal taxes and $6.6 billion in state and local taxes. I am proud to stand with Council Member Menchaca and the Coalition for Latin American Consulates to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Puerto Ricans, the largest group of Latinos in the City, constitute 32.1% of New York City’s Latino population and 9.2% of the City population. Dominicans, the second largest Latino group, make up 25.8% of Latinos in the City and 7.4% of the total City population. Mexicans, Ecuadorians, and Colombians represent 13.3%, 8.3% and 4.3% of the City’s Latino population, respectively. Hondurans, Salvadorans and Peruvians are the next most populous groups.

“Hispanic Federation is proud to stand with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Carlos Menchaca and a coalition of Latin American consulates in celebrating the positive impact of Latinos in New York City,” stated José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “The innumerable contributions of the Hispanic community can be felt in every part of our city, from government and businesses to the arts and nonprofit sector. Simply and irrefutably, our city’s 2.3 million Latinos are at the heart of what makes the Big Apple so grand and vibrant.”

Immigrants from Latin America make up one third of the City’s immigrant population.

“We join Speaker Mark-Viverito in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and the many contributions Latinos have made to New York and the United States. We applaud the tremendous efforts of the Speaker to empower and uplift Latino communities,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Through the Speaker’s support for initiatives such as NYIC’s Key to the City events, which has provided nearly 30,000 Latinos, as well as other communities, with free legal support, access to identification documents, and more, New York has demonstrated that it stands by immigrant communities. In this effort and so many others, we thank the Speaker, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and the Coalition for Latin American Consulates in New York (CLACNY).”

In light of current political climate, press conference participants sought to deliver a unified message reaffirming the importance of the Latino community in this City and in this country.

Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Immigration Committee and the first Mexican-American elected official in New York, said “As a Latino, I have been particularly hurt by some of the hateful rhetoric we’ve heard during this presidential election. However, I am fortunate that, on a daily basis, I am exposed to resilient, strong, hardworking, honest and dignified Latinos in my District and in this City who re-energize me and remind us that the Latino community in NYC is vibrant and fundamental to the economic and cultural prosperity of this City. There is no doubt about that. I am proud to be Latino and I am proud to stand with my Council colleagues, CLACNY, service providers, and advocates today.”

In 2013, Latinos paid $10 billion in federal taxes and $6.6 billion in state/local taxes. Foreign-born Latinos paid $4.9 billion in federal taxes and $3.3 billion in state/local taxes.

“The Hispanic community in NYC is strong and growing. We are a diverse community, and I am proud to be the first Dominican Chair of the Finance Committee. Our Council also has Puerto Rican leadership and Mexican leadership, and the first Latina Speaker in Melissa Mark-Viverito. To be able to respond to the needs of our community we need to work very closely with all community organizations, consulates and a variety of other institutions. Only together will we achieve the impact we need to have to improve the lives of all Latinos in the City,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. 

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