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Will NYC Have a Latino Voice in Overall City Politics?

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Now that the major New York City races are over and you thought that everything was quiet on the political front we are being plastered with propaganda for the next important city election, the City Council speaker.

What's interesting is that though this is a very important position, considered the second most important person after the mayor the general public does not elect this person. That would be a surprise to many who have attended one of the many events, debates and activities organized throughout the city for this election to take place only within the city council members.

There are many names mentioned for council speaker and they represent all of the boroughs, except Staten Island (bendito). Within the almost ten names I have heard mentioned, there are two Latina candidates, Anabel Palma from the Bronx and Melissa Mark-Viverito from El Barrio/South Bronx.

At least 25 of the present City Council member votes are needed to elect the new council speaker and that is where the fun begins. The Progressive Caucus, the Queens & Bronx Democratic bosses and the Brooklyn and Manhattan independents are all vying to get the second most powerful seat in the city. My take in all this madness is quite simple; the city needs a Latino voice.

We don't have, nor have had a Latino voice in the overall city politics. Something that is surprising when we make up approximately 30 percent of the city's population, but that is for another future article. Perhaps we could have had one, if Adolfo Carrión would have used his political and financial capital better to secure either the Comptroller or the Public Advocate seat? That would have been a much wiser choice than running for mayor as an independent. So now back to reality, we need a Latino voice in citywide politics. Of the two choices it appears that Melissa Mark-Viverito has stronger support and perhaps a better grasp of the overall political landscape thus is the frontrunner.

A citywide Latino voice is crucial to the overall growth and future development of this city as our growing numbers dictate that reality. Let's hope that many of the council members realize this.