On October 30, 2014 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna presided over a packed crowd in Brooklyn’s celebration of Latino Heritage. The event, which required the addition of two overflow rooms, was held to honor a number of Latino community leaders. It was opened by Brooklyn Borough President Adams with a fiery speech on the theme of the borough’s diversity, his goal of creating “One Brooklyn” and his gratitude for his partnership with former Councilmember Diana Reyna as his partner in leadership of the Kings County government. He also expressed his desire, to loud applause, to serve the borough for two terms and then “move across the river to City Hall.”
The evening featured intergenerational dance performances by the Roberto Clemente Public School 19 of Williamsburg of the school’s award-winning Bailarines and the Diane H. Jones Senior Center Bailarines. The youngsters from PS 19 danced to bachata and a waltz sung by Frank Sinatra, while the seniors moved to the beat of a cumbia. Also, music was provided by the Benny Lopez Conjunto. The performances were all delightful, but were marked with sadness at the news that the city was closing PS 19 this coming year, so these youngsters were the school’s last class.
The evening’s program centered on presentations to the honorees. These included: NiLP’s Angelo Falcón; NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Councilmember Antonio Reynoso; Councilmember Rafael Espinal; CUNY Dominican Studies Institute’s Ramona Hernandez; Make the Road New York; Las Comadres para las Americas; NACOPRW New York’s Michelle Centeno; Kings Co. Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Rick Miranda; Faith & Hope’s Nicole Dominguez; Judge Jeanette Ruiz; Judge Betsy Barros; Business owner Ariel Barbouth; and Ponce de Leon Federal Bank. The Hispanic Federation was also to be honored, but were not in attendance.