Jan 09

War on Poverty, Chris Christie & Latina Making History in New York City!

¡Felíz Año Nuevo! Happy 2014 and thanks for returning to listen to Ray’s Podcast! In the first edition of the New Year, host Rafael Collazo and co-host Abe Amorós talk about the 50th

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

Anniversary of the War on Poverty, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie playing good guy/bad guy at the same time, a Latina becoming speaker of the New York City Council and a Latino becoming the head of the Health and Human Services Department in the City of Boston.

When President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Sargeant Shriver as head of the War on Poverty, he could not have imagined how it would turn out 50 years later. While poverty has dropped to 16 percent from 19 percent, 46 million Americans are still considered to be living in poverty with as many as one of third of those being children. Listen to Ray and Abe talk about how government has played a role in keeping poverty in check and how inequality in terms of job opportunities and access to resources have taken their toll on poverty.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ceremonially signed into law the state’s version of the DREAM Act that allows children of undocumented parents the right to pay in-state tuition in New Jersey’s colleges and universities. Listen to Ray applaud the move as he also discusses the need for continued immigration reform and the need to provide more opportunities to young people in order to succeed and become productive members of society.LISTEN TO FULL PODCAST BELOW!!!

On the flip side, Christie had some serious explaining to do as his deputy chief-of-staff , Bridget Anne Kelly, was found to have ordered a member of the Port Authority to close two of three lanes on the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 9th. This boneheaded move was in retaliation for the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee NOT supporting Christie in his re-election bid. Yeah, closing two of three lanes on the busiest bridge in America on the first day of school was NOT anyone’s finest moment. Listen to Ray and Abe discuss the preposterous move and its implications on Christie.

On a positive note, two Latinos made headlines as they were chosen to lead in extraordinary roles. First, Melissa Mark-Viverito, a councilwoman from Harlem, was chosen as Speaker of the New York City Council with 30 of its 52 members supporting her. The Speaker’s position is the second most powerful one in the largest city in the U.S. and represents a historic moment for all Latinos, not just in NYC but throughout the nation. Her persistence and ability to form coalitions is a testament to her political acumen and persistence. In a whacky twist, listen to Ray talk about Mark-Viverito’s council opponent, Gwen Goodwin, suing her for casting “brujería” on her to lose the election. El Gran Combo would NOT be amused!

And in Boston, former candidate for mayor, Felix Arroyo was appointed to become the head of the Health and Human Services Department. This fabulous role will allow him to administer tens of millions of dollars within Boston as it cares for its all of its residents, particularly communities of color and the most vulnerable. Listen to Abe discuss the role of appointed leaders as he shares his experiences as the head of the Office of Community Development in the City of York.
Check out this episode
Listen to Ray also congratulate Latino leaders in Pennsylvania who were elected by their peers to be presidents of the City Councils in the cities of Reading, Lancaster and Allentown – three key cities within the Rt. 222 corridor in the Keystone State. Be sure to tune in next week!

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