Cuomo Courts Hispanic Leaders

After a long silence from Andrew Cuomo regarding immigration in general and Latinos in particular, the Democratic candidate for governor is finally voicing his thoughts.

Last weekend, Cuomo met with ‘la crème de la crème’ of New York Hispanic elected officials at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in a closed-door meeting organized by the new co-chair of his campaign, U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.

“We talked about the disappointment that we have on how the campaign is in this moment,” Velázquez said in an interview with El Diario/La Prensa after the press conference that followed the hour-long meeting. “For the lack of Latino presence, the lack of outreach and the lack of engagement with the Latino community.”

But Velázquez said Cuomo is signaling a new commitment by bringing a senior staff level Latino to his campaign, by putting resources into Latino media to reach out to Spanish-speaking voters, and by standing up for immigrant issues like education, hate crimes, discrimination, housing, economic development and small businesses.

At the press conference, U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., former Bronx Borough President Fernando ‘Freddy’ Ferrer and State Senator José Peralta had warm words for Cuomo, saying he has always supported the Hispanic community by protecting immigrants and fighting for the poor.

“We know him, we like him, we trust him,” said Ferrer, who ran against Michael Bloomberg in the 2005 Mayor’s race.

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This story was produced by Feet in 2 Worlds, a project at The New School's Center for New York City Affairs. Feet in Two Worlds' New York election coverage is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.