State Senator Ruben Diaz Criticizes Lack of State Representation in Newly Created Museum of The American Latino

Ruben Diaz

January 7, 2010

New York State Senator Ruben Díaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus today sent a letter to Congressman José Serrano requesting that he review the lack of state representation in the recently created National Museum of the American Latino. 

The National Museum of the American Latino will create a home for the historical artifacts, images and personal stories documenting over 500 years of American Latino contributions to the United States.  It will serve as an educational tool for the thousands who visit the museum each year as well as instill pride in the Latino community today and in the future. 

“I am writing to you in the hope that you can remedy the situation,” he stated.  “The National Museum of the American Latino has no representation from the state that has over 1 million Puerto Ricans and Latinos.  The lack of New York representation is reprehensible.  The state of Florida has six members, Nevada has four, California has three, Texas has two and we get nada” he further stated.

Latinos from the state of New York have contributed mightily to this nation.  In fact, the first Latina state Senator and Assemblywoman were elected in New York State.  The first Hispanic to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is also a resident of New York State.  Herman Badillo and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez were the first Puerto Rican members of Congress representing the State of New York.

New York is also the national hot bed of culture.  “Salsa and Cuban Jazz came out of New York. ”  Today, these two musical genres are enjoyed all over the world.  New York is also the home of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, El Museo Del Barrio, Pregones Theater and El Reportorio Español.  Broadway recently recognized Puerto Rican playwright, Lin Manuel Miranda with a Tony for Best Musical for In the Heights. 

“On behalf of a community that yet does not get the respect that they deserve, we ask for your help due to your commitment to our community and the arts” Senator Diaz concluded.

The legislation which formed the commission calls for twenty three members to be appointed.