Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • A New Think Tank on Latino Politics

    Puerto Rican and Dominican pride in New York City

    For six years as a contributing writer for Gotham Gazette I have written almost exclusively on the trajectory and current dynamics of Latino politics in New York.In my first column here, in 2017, I explored how the increase in the Latino electorate was shifting the dynamics of our city’s politics. In the years since, I’ve written

  • New York Latino Politics Beyond New York City

    Yadira Ramos-Herbert (photo via campaign website)

    On Thursday February 16, the New Rochelle City Democratic Committee made history by endorsing the mayoral candidacy of Yadira Ramos-Herbert in this year’s election. An Afro-Latina of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent and currently a City Council member, Ramos-Herbert is the first person of color to receive a major party’s endorsement for mayor in New York’s seventh largest city. Ramos-Herbert’s candidacy and the committee’s endorsement helpfully remind us that Latino politics

  • Max Politics Podcast: Roberto Ramírez on Hector LaSalle's Nomination for Chief Judge and Latino Representation in New York

    A rally in support of Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)

    January 24, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Roberto Ramírez on Hector LaSalle's Nomination to Become Chief Judge and Latino Representation in New York

    Roberto Ramírez — a founding partner and political strategist at The MirRam Group, a former Assemblymember, Bronx Democratic Party leader, and advisor on Freddy Ferrer's mayoral campaigns — joined the show to discuss Hector LaSalle's nomination to be the next Chief Judge of New York, Latino representation at the highest levels of

  • A Sad Day for Latinos in New York: Hector LaSalle's Rejection

    Justice Hector LaSalle (photo: NYSBA)

    The New York State Senate’s Wednesday rejection of Justice Hector LaSalle’s nomination for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, is yet another example of how Latinos continuously get shafted. We can no longer say such dismissal is the fault of conservatives rather than progressives: lack of advancement for Latinos has truly become a nonpartisan affair. The shafting is equal opportunity, with Latinos consistently on the receiving end.

    Like Governor Hochul’s last major nominations—first the selection of

  • Latino New Yorkers Know Governor Hochul is Fighting For Us

    Gov. Hochul celebrates Puerto Rico (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    Every election season, Latinos have the same conversations about how political candidates engage with us. My constituents and I are used to seeing chronic underinvestment despite big promises, and our communities are used to feeling like an afterthought. It’s far too easy for us to succumb to cynicism about our political leaders’ commitment to fighting for us. 

    But that’s not the case with Governor Kathy Hochul. And she’s proven it

  • Latinos, Hochul, and the 2022 Election for New York Governor

    Gov. Hochul celebrates Hispanic Heritage (photo: governor's offiice)

    She once adamantly opposed the idea of giving drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants; she even went so far as to threaten their arrests and deportations. No Latinos were on the original list of speakers for the convention of the State Democratic Party, of which she is thede facto leader.TheNueva York Initiative...

  • The Forgotten History of Latino Politics in New York: Part II

    Felipe Torres (photo: Center for Puerto Rican Studies, CUNY)

    This is the second part of a series on the forgotten history of Latino politics in New York;read part one here.

    The Republican Party during the pre-FDR era was surely not the GOP of today, in New York and beyond. This is made clear by who the Republicans

  • Max Politics Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on Surviving a Major Primary Challenge

    Senator Gustavo Rivera, right, with Rep. Adriano Espaillat (photo: Rivera campaign website)

    September 2, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on Surviving a Major Primary Challenge

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx joined the show to discuss winning his August 2022 Democratic primary despite a well-organized, well-funded attempt to unseat him.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded

  • Latinos and the August 2022 New York State Senate Primary

    (l-r) Nathalia Fernandez, Gustavo Rivera, Kristen Gonzalez

    Last week’s primary elections for New York State Senate and U.S. House of Representatives seats included a number of competitive races, some of them in Latino-majority districts. As in any election, the implications of this primary are varied and significant.

    Here are several key takeaways from State Senate races in the five boroughs.

    Latino Turnout, Where Art Thou?
    Voter turnout at

  • The Forgotten History of Latino Politics in New York

    Oscar Garcia Rivera in 1937, the year he took office (photo: The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College)

    Tuesday, June 28, 2022, marked an important shift in Latino politics in New York, represented in part by Assemblymember Jose Rivera’s Democratic primary loss to George Alvarez. The significance of Rivera’s defeat goes beyond an election loss by someone who has been in office for four decades. Rivera represents the last of what can be deemed a third generation of Puerto Rican Latino elected officials, someone who was part of a generation that paved

  • Latino Vote ‘22: 5 Assembly Primaries to Watch

    Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)

    Though the governor and lieutenant governor races are getting the most buzz this state election cycle, a number of state legislative races—both Assembly and State Senate— are also surprisingly competitive.

    Five of those competitive races happen to be in Latino-majority or Latino-plurality Assembly districts of New York City: two in the Bronx, two in Queens, and one in Brooklyn.

    These are the five to watch as the Assembly primaries are decided on Tuesday, June 28: 

    The Bronx

  • Road to the Lieutenant Governor's Office Runs Through the Barrios of New York


    (l-r) Ana Maria Archila, Antonio Delgado, Diana Reyna

    Until results are officially released, who will win an election is uncertain. But right now, with less than a week until election night in this year’s statewide primaries, one thing is quite certain: the next Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor will have a Latino name. And yes, that even includes Antonio Delgado, whose racial and ethnic identity has been the subject of much debate.

    The fact that Delgado, Ana Maria Archila,

  • Latino Vote Podcast: Latinos & 2022 Redistricting in New York

    Latino leaders at the Dominican Day parade (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Lucia Gomez, the political director of the New York City Central Labor Council, joined host Eli Valentin on this episode of the Latino Vote podcast to share insights on the recently-completed 2022 redistricting process in New York and what it may mean for Latino political power.

  • Introducing Latino Vote ‘22

    At a celebration of Latino heritage (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    Bienvenidos to “Latino Vote ’22,” the latest series in Gotham Gazette on the Latino vote in New York.Last year’s columns on the ever-growing Latino vote looked at specific races and boroughs in New York City’s 2021 elections, as well as the impact of the Latino vote on the mayoral election.

    The Question Isn’t Whether Antonio Delgado is Latino, It’s Whether He’ll Stand Up For Our Community

    Antonio Delgado (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    The recent appointment of new Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado was marred by a debate about his ethnicity – specifically, whether he is Latino. 

    The debate about Mr. Delgado’s ethnicity misses the point. The

  • The Pragmatic Progressivism of Ritchie Torres

    Rep. Ritchie Torres (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)

    As congressional representatives seek re-election this year, there is one member of Congress who doesn’t need to worry about having an opponent: Rep. Ritchie Torres. At the time of this writing, there is no word of a candidate circulating petitions to challenge Torres in this June’s Democratic primary. As political insiders well know, it is rare for an incumbent in New York not to have a challenge.

    Many may have taken notice of Torres’s popularity in his congressional

  • Latinos and the 2022 Democratic Primary

    Suozzi-Reyna (photo: @Reyna4NY)

    The Latino vote in New York is, thankfully, becoming the important point of conversation it should be. While there’s a ways to go, there is more discussion happening -- including a variety of political debates, via the inimitable work of Errol Louis in one of his recent columns as well as a...

  • Redistricting and Latinos in New York

    Rep. Nydia Velázquez (photo: Ian Douglass/Waterfronts)

    The New York State Legislature has passed, and Governor Hochul has signed, new district maps for the House of Representatives, the State Assembly, and the State Senate. What do these new lines mean for Latino representation?

    While space limitations prohibit me from providing an exhaustive analysis, several new district lines are worth noting. Let us begin with Congress.

    Of all New York City’s four congressional districts represented by

  • Will Latinos Lose the First Assembly Seat They Won 84 Years Ago? The Looming Battle in East Harlem

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    Former Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, middle (photo: @_rjayrodriguez)

    How might Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez’s resignation lead to Puerto Ricans losing the seat for which they have fought so long? Let me explain.

    Last week, as a who’s who of New York elected officials descended on the island of Puerto Rico, Governor Kathy Hochul was preparing her continued push to revamp state government, attempting along the way the diversification of the Empire State’s governmental representatives.

    On Thursday, 1,600 miles away from New York

  • Latino Vote Podcast: Redistricting, Representation, and Latino New Yorkers

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    A Hispanic heritage celebration at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    On this episode of the Latino Vote podcast from Gotham Gazette and hosted by Eli Valentin, the topic is legislative redistricting and Latino representation, and the guests are Lucia Gomez, Political Director at the NYC Central Labor Council; Dr. Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Director of Public Policy and Media Relations at the Centro for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College; and Frederick Velez Burgos, National Director of Civic Engagement at the Hispanic

  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez on Backing Eric Adams & The Path Ahead

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    Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez with Mayor-elect Eric Adams (photo: @ydanis)

    November 3, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez on Backing Eric Adams & The Path Ahead

    City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez joined the show to discuss his support for Eric Adams' mayoral campaign, what he did to help Adams win the mayoralty, and what comes next.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Hispanic Federation Releases 'Blueprint' for Next City Government to Improve Latino Representation, Communities

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    Mayor de Blasio at a Hispanic Federation event (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    With a new mayor and other city leaders set to take office January 1, the Hispanic Federation has released a “blueprint” for improving how local government serves New York City’s 2.3 million Latino residents.

    A nonprofit with 70 member organizations from all five boroughs, the Hispanic Federation issued its recommendations at a virtual press conference on Tuesday, hours before the final debate of this year’s mayoral election, between Democratic

  • Latino Vote '21: A Closer Look at the 2021 Democratic Primary

    Gotham Gazette New York City Latinos and the 2021 Democratic Primary: A Closer Look

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Four years ago I participated in a forum on the theme of Latino politics and voting participation in New York hosted by the Rev. Ray Rivera of the Latino Pastoral Action Center in the Bronx. The forum was based largely on two columns I had recently written here at Gotham Gazette — “Latinos and the 2017 New York City Elections”and ...

  • The Case for a Latino Lieutenant Governor

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    Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, & Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, right, in Puerto Rico (photo: Gabriel López Albarrán/Governor's office)

    Andrew Cuomo’s resignation has historical import in potentially numerous ways. When the current Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, becomes Governor of New York in just under two weeks, she will become the first woman to occupy the executive chamber in Albany. History will also be made if Hochul decides to appoint a Latino as her Lieutenant Governor.

    I suggest that is exactly what she should do.

  • Latino Vote '21 Podcast: Shaun Abreu Pursues a City Council Seat in Manhattan

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    Shaun Abreu (photo: @ShaunAbreu)

    Shaun Abreu, the Democratic nominee in City Council District 7, joined the Latino Vote '21 pop-up podcast from Gotham Gazette and hosted by Eli Valentin. The podcast is focused on Latino voters and candidates in New York City's 2021 city government elections.

    Listen through the audio below or find this and other episodes under the "Max Politics" podcast stream wherever you get podcasts: