Many have been asking about the English translation to the last post, so nice to see that our blog is getting around...here it is:
When Mayor Dennis Pilla invited Port Chester residents to submit their letters of interests and resumes for village trustee appointments, three Hispanics answered Pilla's call...they were Rev. Ariel Acosta, Blanca Lopez, Director of a not for profit housing program, and Walter Quiroz, a tax accountant.
So what happened?
From the twelve candidates who sought appointments, the Board of Trustees appointed two African American men for the two open seats.
And why wasn't a Hispanic appointed?
It is not that there weren't any Hispanic candidates who were not prepared for this position. It is the opinion of this writer that Ms. Lopez was the best candidate for this position, but the two Republican Trustees, Robert Sorensen and Dominick Cicatelli, and the formerly registered Republican and now Independent Trustee, John Crane decided not to vote for her. Why?...because they felt that Lopez was too involved in politics since she was the Campaingn Chair for Trustee Brakewood and former Trustee Pilla when they ran two years ago, and also Chair for Mayor Pilla, when he ran last year. So, Lopez only received votes from Mayor Pilla and Trustee Brakewood in her quest to becoming appointed.
Wow...never in the history of Port Chester, has a Hispanic woman...an immigrant woman, I should say, like Lopez been involved in promoting change for this community and in such a short time; and that is possibly why, because of her involvement, that is has also created some backlash, because we all know that when an individual or group of people advance in this social system that we live in, there will always be people who will try to stop their progress.
So, lets analyze reasons why these three Hispanic candidates were not appointed....
Early last year, Rev. Acosta ran for Trustee with the Republican team. He ran with Mr. Cicatelli, and Bart Didden, our favorite village racist who was the mastermind behind the so called anonymous flyers where he referred to Lopez as a "wolf dressed in sheep's clothing and that she was "in bed with Pilla." It was discovered that he had assistance from current Trustee John Crane and then Board of Education President Dominick Bencivenga with the planning and editing for this flyer. Everything came out in the open when the Dept. of Justice questioned Didden and he immediately vomited to the feds everything he knew and those involved.
So, it seems that although Rev. Acosta wanted to become involved in this campaign to promote Hispanic participation and most importantly, get the Hispanic vote, the Republicans used him to promote their stance with Hispanics and to show the feds that they had recruited a Hispanic to run with them. Sadly, although Rev. Acosta wanted to be appointed to one of the open trustee spots, nobody voted for him, not even his republican counterparts, Cicatelli or Sorensen. I think that the Republicans used Acosta for their own benefit, and when he needed them they left him out to dry. Poor Reverend, he did not deserve this.
Mr. Quiroz also submitted his resume like a good citizen, but I do not think that he knew much about what this position entailed.
Well, so now lets analyze why Lopez was not appointed, and this will be easy:
First, there is a rumor in PC that Trustee Sorensen wants to run for mayor in two years, and for trustee this coming March, so now he has to work very hard to please the Republican party and he needs to strenghten his position in it. The problem with Sorensen is that he owes a lot of money to the village because he has not paid his parking tickets. I do not think that PC voters will suppot a candidate who owes money to the village and who has shown to be a bad example for village voters. Maybe Sorensen should give up some or all of the $5k he gets from serving as trustee every year, and maybe that will satisfy his debt.
On the other hand. Mr. Cicatelli just looks lost....he lost the mayoral election, and now he is serving a term that has already expired. It seems that his vote against Lopez, was simply for revenge.... well, that's politics.
So what about Crane....who changed his party affiliation from Republican to Independent a couple of months ago, and who also wanted to be appointed Village justice earlier this year. Unfortunately, Crane, an attorney, represents landlords like Great American, who exploit Hispanics and rent "problematic" apartments and rooms. Seeing how Lopez works in the housing area and knows about housing policies and laws, she may have been seen as a challenge for Crane. Also, it is not surprising that he voted against her since he was involved in the creation of the flyer which was sent to every voter in Port Chester.
There are so many things going on in this little village. It reminds me of a Mexican soap called "Pueblo Chico, Infierno Grande." But, we have to recognize that the appointments made by the trustees was a slap in the face to Hispanics. How is it possible that in a community with a large Hispanic population, there is no Hispanic representative? However, it is also important to understand that if and when a Hispanic candidate runs for office, he or she must be professionally prepared and want what is best for the entire community. But that person must also know about the problems and challenges faced by immigrants as they acculturate into American society.
It is important that we as voters learn and understand each candidate's platforms and the relationship that they will have or have with the Hispanic community, in order to be assured that they will perform a responsible job once in office.