WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx County, New York
You should know that since 1958, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade has been the greatest source of Puerto Rican unity in New York City. In good and bad times, this Parade has been the Number One symbol of Puerto Rican pride. The Parade draws more than one million people annually to celebrate Puerto Rico’s rich heritage and culture. All Puerto Ricans – even people like me who don’t march in Sunday parades – appreciate the magnitude of the day.
You should also know that since 1988, I have hosted an “Abrazo Boricua in New York” a Banquet to celebrate the Puerto Rican community for its outstanding commitment to New York State’s success. Each of these events, held during the week of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, has been a tremendous success!
Our community should know that this week, El Diario la Prensa, the New York Post, and various media outlets have been reporting that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is expected to oust some or all of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s Board Members. So has my fellow Puerto Rican Gerson Borrero, who continues to bring this issue to light on NY1 during the Political Rundown. He rightly continues to hammer Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose late findings to severely penalize the Parade Board will ruin the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
You should know that with only four months to go until the 2014 Puerto Rican Day Parade steps off on Fifth Avenue, any negative announcement about the Parade Board by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman it is intended to and most definitely hurt the Puerto Rican community.
You should also know that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken almost seven months to conclude his investigation about an alleged conflict of interest between certain Board Members of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Miller/Coors Brewery.
My dear reader, if something seems to be wrong, it should be investigated, but it is hard to imagine that there is any good reason for such an investigation to conclude and coincide with the timing of final parade commitments. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s untimely announcement – only 4 months before the actual Parade takes place – will certainly raise skepticism and put fear into Parade advertisers, sponsors and participants. Whether or not any allegations of misconduct against the Parade’s Board Members are even established, the timing of this announcement is detrimental to the prospects for this year’s Parade and definitely hurts the Puerto Rican community and its parade.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make clear that I am not defending any action or any wrong doing, neither I am defending any board member, but I am a proud Puerto Rican and I have to ask myself: Why has New York State’s Attorney General waited so long to make this announcement? If Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decides so late in the game to release any findings to oust Parade Board Members, doesn’t he know that he will rob the new Parade Board of effective leadership, leaving very little time to have new Board Members elected and be able to review and authorize contracts and make other necessary arrangements by June 8th? Is Attorney General Eric Schneiderman determined to jeopardize the 2014 National Puerto Rican Day Parade and make it a failure? Does he know how this will hurt the Puerto Rican community, and does he care?
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.