HISPANIC COMMUNITY

  • Mario Cuomo has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the needs of the Hispanic Community throughout his tenure. In 1986, the Governor established the Office for Hispanic Affairs to develop stronger relations between the Hispanic Community and state agencies. The office ensures that the concerns and needs of this community are addressed in all aspects of government.

  • Governor Cuomo made history when he nominated the first Hispanic and second woman, Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. The Governor has appointed more Hispanics to high ranking positions than any of his predecessors, including Margarita Rosa, Commissioner of the Department of Human Rights and Raul Russi, Chairman of the Board of Parole.

  • Mario Cuomo, in conjunction with the legislature, established the Puerto Rican/Latino Business Development Center to promote ties between Hispanic businesses and the financial and corporate community of New York State.

  • To help Hispanics and other minority business people, the Governor created the Office of Minority and Women Owned Business Development and numerous other economic development programs which have provided millions of dollars to Hispanic-owned businesses, and hundreds of millions in state and public authority contracts to minority contractors.

  • To provide access to capital, the Cuomo administration has funded community-based economic development organizations, credit unions and revolving loan funds.

  • To stimulate economic growth in the state's hardest hit areas, the Governor created Economic Development Zones. The 19 existing zones have generated $750 million in investments from 869 businesses, creating more than 4,500 permanent jobs. Another 21 zones will soon be created.

  • The Governor created the Office of Minority Health in 1992 to help medical schools and state agencies increase the number of minority health professionals and promote health service delivery in minority communities. The office is headed by Manny Rosa.

  • To ensure that Hispanics gain equal access to all Department of Labor programs and services, the Governor established Project Trabajo. The Project gives Latinos access to initiatives such as the $2.1 million Latino Employment and Training program which provides comprehensive education and employment training for Latinos in targeted communities.

  • In response to New York's AIDS epidemic and its devastating effect in the Latino Community, the Governor established the AIDS Institute within the Department of Health. Dr. Nilsa Gutierrez was recently appointed to head the Institute.

  • Mario Cuomo believes that opportunity starts with education. His record of achievement is based on innovation and investment -- creating many programs to expand and improve opportunities for Latino youth while more than doubling state aid to local schools since he took office. The Governor has also led the fight to distribute the $9 billion in state school aid more fairly.

  • Other innovations include the first Community Schools program in the nation -- a model for making schools the center of community activity. Currently, 41 schools statewide stay open into the late evening, providing those in disadvantaged communities a broad range of services, including youth activities, day care and counseling, and the first Magnet School program, which now serves more than 70,000 children.

  • The Governor also initiated the award-winning New York State Mentoring Program. Under the leadership of First Lady Matilda Cuomo, successful adults, serving as role models, work one on one with at-risk students. There are now 3,115 students from 214 schools in the program.

  • As a result of these and other innovations and initiatives, drop-out rates are at an historic low.

  • Higher education opportunities have been expanded for roughly 300,000 working-class and needy students through the nation's most generous Tuition Assistance Program. New York provides more aid than the next two states combined and our tuition is lower than our Northeast neighbors.

  • The Governor created Liberty Scholarships to provide incentives for needy children to stay in school. The program -- a national first -- covers all expenses at state universities for students who qualify, but who can't afford the cost of going to college.

  • To provide positive alternatives for our youth, the Governor tipped off the New York State Midnight Basketball League this summer. This initiative will get young people off the streets at night and into the gyms where they will also receive job and counseling services.

  • Last year, the Governor opened the $129-million Riverbank State Park in Washington Heights which includes a pool complex, an athletic building, a cultural arts building, a skating rink, ball fields, tennis courts, and picnic areas.

  • The Governor has repeatedly fought for anti-bias legislation to stiffen penalties for hate crimes, only to be blocked by the Republican Senate.