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Latinos in Newark and Voting (Part 2)

This Article applies not only to Newark as the title says, but what happens in Newark has been duplicated in other communities such as Paterson, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Elizabeth, New Brunswick and others. I want to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to the family of our merchant Miguel Torres, who was a victim of a violent crime wave that has been affecting the merchants of the city of Newark and other cities in New Jersey. Crime can be managed and minimized. Unfortunately those who can do the job to control and minimize the risk of the community happen to be elected officials, whom by not fulfilling their responsibilities as elected officials leave us all vulnerable; hence the resources at our disposal are limited. However we have a resource that we rarely use and when we use it, we do it ineffectively. That resource is our VOTE. During the vigil held and led by our community leaders Santiago Paniagua, past president and founder of the Asociación de Comerciantes de Newark, Inc. and the current President Juan Arias, in remembrance of the Dominican-born businessman Miguel Torres, someone reminded me of the strength we have as voters and the influence of those who cannot vote, for whatever reason. Of course we must emphasize on the strength of our community when we join forces. That person happens to be the only councilmember who said this during the Vigil, West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice, Jr. Councilmembers Anibal Ramos, Jr., Carlos Gonzalez and Luis Quintana should be ashamed that the only councilmembers who participated in this vigil were two African American, Ronald Rice and Ras Baraka, who sent his assistant, David Mohamed. Rice said that to improve the work that elected officials are doing is extremely important for citizens to challenge them. You protest when they do not do their job. It is so powerful and so effective that sometimes I wonder why our community does not do it more frequently. You need only look at the great achievements which have made  history around the world by the strength of our unification. We must recognize that the pressure of the Dominican community in Newark on the authorities resulted in an arrest of the suspects in just three days. The crime occurred on Tuesday, January 17 and the Newark Police Department already had the suspects between Friday and Saturday. How many crimes occur in the city and other places where they spend years and the culprits have not yet been arrested. There is strength when the community comes together. We chose three Hispanic councilmembers who promise many things to be re-elected. For people who fear being harassed for voting their conscience, I want to remind you that voting is secret and there are laws that protect your right to vote. This is a country of laws and politicians are not above the law. The rich and powerful also go to jail. How many judges, senators, congressmen, mayors, councilmembers and government employees haven’t you heard that are serving sentences in jail? MANY! So please do not be afraid to express your discontent with these selfserving politicians. I respect when a person is honest enough to say “no” and if they say “yes” is because they will fulfill their promise. This is the reason Councilman Carlos Gonzalez of Newark has and will continue to have my respect. He does not pretend nor promises to help in causes that are not important to him. Carlos Gonzalez is an elected official who has worked very little with the different communities (including his own community) but he is not going around promising anything and that must be recognized. Anibal Ramos, Jr. is a person who since first elected to Councilman of the North Ward has had aspirations to be mayor in the city of Newark. Unfortunately, he has made many mistakes and falsehoods with our people. He has promised a number of constituents and friends and has left some out in the cold. He still does not fulfill promises made in his first term and he continues promising and not fulfilling in his second term. Of the three, he is perhaps the one that is best able to modify and still comply with many of his promises and to continue a successful political career. When we speak of Luis Quintana and the work he has done in our community I will say that I know of no other more opportunistic person than him. It is the only elected official in Newark that is with everyone and no one at the same time. Today he is with the Mayor and tomorrow he wants to destroy him. He loves to gossip with people to start disputes between individuals and communities. He tells the other person was talking about him to cause conflicts. I guess he read the book “The Art of War” and applies the principle Divide and Conquer, and from what I see he lives it every day. He has taken on the task   of dividing the Dominican community in Newark and he has succeeded. I have much to say about Councilman Luis Quintana and can write an article dedicated to him just to let our community know the manner in which the councilman has mocked us, it is unfortunate that there are Dominicans who follow the game, maybe because they are his equal. It’s important to clarify that I do not write anything that I am not willing to hold in front of people whom I call by name in my writings and to prove what I say in any area. I take responsibility for what I write. The news media who gracefully allow me to publish my writings are not responsible for my opinions, and am solely responsible for the accuracy of my articles. Very rarely do I mention names in my writing, but I think it’s time someone holds these politicians accountable who only care about their self-interest and do not fulfill their promise. In this country there are elections every year, whether it is on the board of education, congress, senate, municipal council, mayors or presidential elections and us Latinos can vote and those who cannot vote have the power to elect those who represent us. So let’s get our act together and stop complaining about these politicians, they are in position because we elected them. When they do not do their jobs we can remove them just as easy as we put them there. Let us not be intimidated.

If you want to discuss this topic or others, please call me at 973-390-2926 or via email anibal@anibalalcantarajr.com