According to the latest Census report, Latinos make up more than 52% of the population in East Harlem. (Considering the large presence of undocumented Spanish-speaking immigrants in the neighborhood, the percentage is likely to be 60% - or higher.) Despite these figures, Latinos make up less than one-third of the membership of Community Board (CB 11). Out of 51 total members, there are only 15 Latinos serving on the board. This astonishing imbalance is exacerbated by the fact that only four Latinos have a leadership role. With only two committee chairs and two officers, Latinos make up only 22% of the executive committee and 33% of board officers.
The Latino community has long helped build, shape and grow Community Board 11 for more than a century and must be allowed to play a more pivotal role in the neighborhood’s development. We call for more Latino representation on Community Board 11 so that it can better serve the needs and concerns of its constituency. We ask that the Manhattan Borough President and local Councilmembers demonstrate cultural sensitivity and immediately appoint a more equitable number of Latinos that live, work and/or have an interest in Community Board 11.