Hispanic Heritage Night

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>DUSA&#39;s canvassing team was at The Barclay&#39;s Center conducting voter registration during Dominican-Heritage Night while also being recognized for our work in civic engagement and voter registration! Register and vote, It&#39;s your right &amp; privilege! 🙌🏾👏🏽🏀 <a href=”https://t.co/UnIeVywkXs”>pic.twitter.com/UnIeVywkXs</a></p>&mdash; Dominicanos USA (@YoSoyDUSA) <a href=”https://twitter.com/YoSoyDUSA/status/955535844131172357?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 22, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Vote! It Will Now Be Easier Than Ever to Vote in the State of New York!

Vote! It Will Now Be Easier Than Ever to Vote in the State of New York!

Vote! It Will Now Be Easier Than Ever to Vote in the State of New York!

Written by Leonel Gomez

January 23, 2019

 

 

Unfortunately, New York has been suffering with very poor voting laws and has fallen behind other states in terms of voting reform. However, we are one step closer of that being a thing of the past! On January 14th, a series of bills were passed by the New York State Legislature that would make voting easier for every New York citizen. The bills include:

  • Early voting (up to 10 days before Election Day)
  • Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year-olds
  • Same day registration
  • Same day federal and state primaries
  • Portable voter registration (allows voters who move within the same state to transfer their registration and vote on Election Day at their new poll site)
  • No excuse absentee voting (allows voters to request an absentee ballot without requiring that the voter state a reason)

As a result of these bills, long lines and crowding at polling sites will hopefully decrease which could help increase voter turnout.

 

DUSA has proudly been at the forefront along with other civic groups fighting for better voting laws in New York. Since 2015, we have gone to Albany every year to speak with New York legislators to advocate for these bills. We are excited to finally see our efforts reflected in the passing of these bills. 

This a step closer to our goal in making sure that every Dominican-American, as well as every U.S. citizen, can freely exercise their right to vote. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done.

Join us in continuing the fight for voter reform! It is because of you that we are able to do what we do, donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/dominicanos-usa-1

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @yosoydusa. And like us on Facebook, just search Dominicanos USA!

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest blog posts!

Follow Us

Tell your friend and family about us!

DUSA Gets Out the Vote Again

DUSA Gets Out the Vote Again

NOVEMBER 7 GENERAL ELECTIONS WERE CRITICAL FOR DOMINICAN AND LATINO COMMUNITIES

Dominicanos USA has always aimed to engage and empower the Dominican community. In fact, we have been able to register 150,000 people to vote since 2015. This past week we made sure to remind as many people as possible to go out and vote in the 2017 general elections in NYC and other areas. This election season Dominicanos USA sent out 55,000 texts and made 4,500 calls to ensure our people exercise their right to vote. We believe that through voting we can impact our community in a powerful way.

DUSA team calling and texting voters to remind them to participate in the latest elections.

Motivating the community to participate in these local and state elections has allowed our fellow Dominican and Latino politicians to represent us in throughout the U.S., including the first Latinas ever elected as state representatives in Virginia. Electing these Latino officials has greatly contributed to the empowerment of our community and our influence in the American political system. We plan on continuing to encourage our community to keep voting, and therefore make sure our voices are heard.

DUSA team engaging millennials in the electoral process by providing poll site location and reminding them to get out vote.

Our Young Voices visit the Dominican Studies Institute

Our Young Voices visit the Dominican Studies Institute

 

On July 19th, Dominicanos USA’s Young Voices went on a trip to the Dominican Studies Institute. As an organization, this trip was important for us to introduce our teens to academia because the earlier they are exposed to these institutions, the better their chances are to obtain upward mobility. Most of our teens are of Dominican descent, thus the trip to DSI was vital to the development and empowerment of the teens. We hope our teens felt empowered to make a difference and attend college in the near future. It’s important for our teens to know their New York history as Dominicans but also to make the connection to the island of Dominican Republic. Bridging this gap can encourage people to build coalitions between the different generations of Dominicans and Dominican-Americans. Field trips and experiences like this represent DUSA’s efforts to find and develop the next generation of leaders in and out of the Dominican-American community. With 868,173 Dominicans settled in New York, we believe the future of Dominicans is in this city. Special thanks to archivist Sarah Aponte and director Anthony Stevens-Acevedo and the whole Dominican Studies Institute at City College. 

The youth represents the future of our country in many ways. Teens from all walks of life are growing in population in general thus, our outreach is not limited to just Dominicans but also all Latinos who eligible. Some of the teens went through an interview screening and we selected the few we think can be mentees to some of our staff. Specifically, the teens will gain experience working closely with one of our staff members learning about data entry, graphic design, and phone banking. In general, the canvassers get a chance to speak to the community and gain experience on the issues affecting their community. Over the course of six weeks, we predict our young voices to register over 1,000 new voters. As we move into the upcoming elections, our initiative helps the political power we have as Dominicans and Latinos in general.

If you would like to support our work with the Young Voices click here!

Young Voices Visit Manhattan Borough President’s Office

Young Voices Visit Manhattan Borough President’s Office

By: Dinahlee Pena

This summer I have had the opportunity to be part of the SYEP program at Dominicanos USA. On August 1st we visited the Manhattan Borough president’s office. Deputy Borough President Aldrin Bonilla welcomed us and gave us a tour of the office. One of the very first things that stood out to me was the diversity of the team at the Manhattan Borough President’s office. The atmosphere gave us all a sense of both hope and inspiration for the future. Mr. Bonilla educated us on the importance of community, civic engagement and political involvement, all of which are part of DUSA’s mission.

Not only were we able to engage with an influential Dominican-American like Mr. Bonilla, but we also learned about ways to play a more active role in the community. For example, anyone can apply to become a community board member at just 16 years of age. In other words, even if an individual is not allowed to vote due to their young age, they are still able to influence community decisions by becoming a community board member. Furthermore, Mr. Bonilla stressed the importance of giving back to the community. This helped me realize that as the future voices of our community, we must remember to strive for success but never forget the needs of the community that saw us grow.

** This is a guest post by one of our Young Voices participants. Dinahlee Pena is a student at Hunter College studying English and Geography.**

If you would like to support our work with the Young Voices click here

A Guest Post About the Jerome Ave Rezoning

A Guest Post About the Jerome Ave Rezoning

 

Some information about the Jerome Avenue rezoning: The City of New York is proposing a rezoning plan for Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, which encompasses all of Jerome Avenue between E 165th Street to the south and 184th street to the north; and also includes sections of Edward L. Grant Highway, E 170th Street, Mount Eden Avenue, Tremont Avenue, Burnside Avenue and E 183rd Street. All areas where a high population of Dominicans reside. In total this plan constitutes more than 70 blocks in the Jerome Avenue area. As of right now, the NYC Department of City Planning’s proposal consists of building a great deal of new residential units, but does not have any measures to protect current Bronx residents, most of whom are Dominican, from rising rent, displacement, or increased harassment from landlords that will most likely occur as a result the rezoning; neither does it outline how the resulting construction jobs will be regulated to make sure they are safe, well-paid, and for local residents; the proposal also doesn’t address the multitude of auto shop business that will be displaced and the hundreds of jobs that will be lost in the auto industry as a result of the rezoning.

 

Why should Dominicans care? The Jerome Avenue rezoning would affect District 4 and 5 in the Bronx, a major residential area for Dominicans in New York. This proposal would not only give incentive for increased landlord harassment, it will most likely lead to increased rental prices in the area for residents and small business owners. In addition, the proposed rezoning forces the majority of Jerome Avenue auto shops–many of which are owned and operated by Dominican immigrant men–to leave without anywhere to go; therefore taking away a primary source of income for many Dominican men in the Bronx. All of these factors would make it even harder for Dominicans to live in the Bronx.

 

In response to NYC Department of City Planning’s Jerome Avenue rezoning plan, the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision was formed. This Coalition aims to make the Jerome Avenue rezoning planning process a collaborative effort between the City government and the thousands of residents and business owners affected by this proposal and hold our government officials accountable to policies and regulations around the Jerome Avenue rezoning. Through extensive surveys and multiple community meetings, the Bronx Coalition has highlighted key issues for the Jerome Avenue rezoning:

 

  1. Anti-displacement strategies for current residential and commercial tenants. Current tenants and small business owners will not benefit from the rezoning if the rezoning increases rents, speculation, and the forces of displacement. The City should take steps to ensure that the people and businesses that are here now are protected and are able to stay.
  2. Real affordable housing. All of the new housing built in the community should be at rent levels that reflect the need in the community.
  3. Good jobs and local hire. New construction and businesses will mean a lot of new jobs in the area and the City should guarantee that those jobs create career opportunities for local residents. Also, developers should not be allowed to build unless they commit to using contractors that are part of State Department of Labor Registered and Approved Apprenticeship programs.
    1. Safety and training. There recently has been an alarming increase in construction worker fatalities and life changing injuries in New York City. 18 construction workers died in the field from the beginning of 2015 to date. The City must mandate provisions for worker safety and training to ensure our most vulnerable workers are protected.
  4. Real community engagement. Residents need to have a say over what happens in the community, and the City should have long-term tools to ensure accountability for implementing commitments made during rezoning approval process, including a role for community in overseeing progress. The community needs this to ensure that the rezoning is actually part of a community plan that is effective and fully implemented.

As a prominent Latino community, we need to make sure that the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan benefits both long-term Bronx residents and newcomers. Get involved:

  1. Attend monthly rezoning campaign meetings on the first Thursday of every month, from 6PM-8PM at 1501 Jerome Avenue, Bronx. There is food, childcare, and interpretation (English and Spanish). The next meeting on March 2nd will be a Town Hall on the state of the Jerome Avenue rezoning with elected officials, Council Members Vanessa Gibson and Fernando Cabrera.
  2. Sign this petition online and encourage others to do so.
  3. Attend Bronx Voices: Empowering Community in the Face of Rezoning, a community event showcasing Bronx visual and performing artists, as well as an open mic session for anyone to sign up and express themselves through song, story-telling, poetry, etc. The event will take place on February 25th at 5PM at 1501 Jerome Ave, Bronx.
  4. Keep up to date on the NYC Department of City Planning’s Jerome Avenue rezoning plan by visiting their website, along with events and rallies organized by the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision.

Together we need to find a way..

to move forward with the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan without displacement, exploitation, and harassment in the Bronx–a plan that benefits both current Bronx residents and new residents. Otherwise, we risk losing one of the last neighborhoods where low-income New Yorkers can afford to live and we risk losing the diversity and vibrancy of our City.

 

DUSA

Katie Milagros Duarte

Dominicanos USA Guest Blogger

Bronx resident and graduate of Vassar College. Katie is a member of Bronx Rising, a group that aims to get Bronxites to re-engage with their communities by creating spaces, dialogues, and events to re-awaken the love for their communities and focus on celebrations and issues that affect the people of the Bronx.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!