New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio empowered the community at People en Español's Festival with a message emphasizing the importance of Latinx contributions to the country.

Por Lena Hansen
Octubre 05, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to our digital executive editor Shirley Velasquez at People en Español's Festival in Washington Heights, where he also addressed the Latinx audience. “I think people are feeling a lot of pride in a gathering like this, against a backdrop where people are being denigrated and disrespected all over this country in the Latino community, and I think these gatherings take on even added value when that's the reality, because people deserve to feel proud of all they have done for this city, for this country,” he said.

The leader of one of the most diverse cities in the United States — and the world — talked about the contributions of Latinos to our nation. “I love this country, but it's painful seeing what we are going through right now,” he admitted. “Seeing leaders in Washington disrespect the Latino community goes against everything we are supposed to believe in as Americans and we can't let it happen. This is not who we are, this is not what has to be in the country. We are going to overcome it.”

He celebrated the growing Latinx community in New York City and America. “I lead the greatest Latino city in America, with all due respect to Los Angeles,” he said. “We are talking about a Latino community that is almost 3 million people now and growing, and a community that is so strong and makes such massive contributions to New York City.”

Not only famous Latinos should be recognized and honored, he said. “It is the everyday people who are the backbone of this community. We are a very successful city right now, and that is because almost one in three New Yorkers is Latino and are contributors and architects of that success,” he emphasized. “This is a Latino city more and more, and a Latino nation more and more, and we should embrace that and be proud of that.”

The mayor also talked about coming from a multicultural family of immigrants. “My grandparents came here from southern Italy and went through the exact same discrimination that so many Latinos still suffer today. It is a reminder what I know from my own family,” he recalled. “My family got to live the American dream. Two generations later, I have the honor of being mayor of this city.”