Below is the letter personally delivered to the new Board of the Puerto Rican Day parade with recommendations for new and better parade. TV and press were there on Saturday, February 22, at the Board’s meeting in the Bronx when this letter was read aloud and presented. Together, we can accomplish many great things.
February 15, 2014
Orlando Plaza, Lorraine A. Cortés-Vázquez, Carmen A. Pacheco, Lorraine Rodriguez-Reyes, Anthony Diaz, Rosa Gutierrez, Maria Elena Girone, Louis Maldonado, Ululy Rafael Martinez
Board Members Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc.
Re: Community Participation and Requests for Input
We wish to congratulate you on your appointment as a Board member of the National New York Puerto Rican Day Parade.
To give you some background on our organization’s involvement in this issue, we first began as Puerto Ricans protesting the use of the Puerto Rican flag on Coors’ Beer cans. After meeting with Coors executives who personally came to our offices and apologized for its insensitivity, we then requested the Attorney General’s examination of the relationship between Coors and the Puerto Rican Day parade. This began the investigation and the ultimate removal of the prior Board.
As representatives of various community organizations, we are sympathetic to your mission of a beautiful, transparent, and inclusive parade which we hope to protect from its documented prior abuses.
With that in mind, we arrived at the following recommendations we hope will guide you in understanding the needs of our community:
- We would like an independent board that holds the President of the Parade and any person who makes decisions affecting the parade accountable to the Board;
- We would like a Parade more inclusive of New York City Puerto Rican organizations, more accessible to ordinary folks from the community, and less captive to Corporations, their floats, their slogans and their advertisements; we understand the need for Corporate sponsorships, but not at the expense of National identity and pride, e.g. we do not want our flag on a beer can.
- We do not want a community group or organization priced out of the parade because they couldn’t afford a corporate float;
- We would like transparency so that the contracts and sponsorships with the Parade Board and Executives would be available for public review and examination;
- We would like the scholarship money to be accounted for and put in a fund for public inspection immediately after the parade;
- We would like a parade that celebrates the history and heritage of Puerto Ricans and New York, first and foremost.
This list is not exclusive. Its purpose is to strengthen the desires of the community with the goals of protecting the parade and honoring its mission.
Please contact us to discuss these goals so that we may provide this great metropolis and the Nation with a wonderful and historic parade.
Boricuas for a Positive Image
cc: Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General
Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
Ramon J. Jimenez, Esq.