Reporters Milton Valencia and Meghan E. Irons provide a comprehensive analysis of the Greater Boston Latino Network’s new report in their June 16 Metro story “Latino leadership lacking in City Hall, report says.” However, to describe the report, “The Silent Crisis II,” as a “rebuke” of Mayor Walsh misrepresents its purpose.
The goal is to strategize with Boston and Chelsea leaders about how to increase Latino representation in both cities. The report provides concrete steps to achieve these goals.
First, city department heads must share information about upcoming job, board, and commission openings widely with the Latino community, and develop metrics to assess the success of this outreach.
Second, the city must conduct focus groups on a range of challenges facing Latinos in Boston and Chelsea. These must result in recommendations for building additional networking spaces that will allow city government to reach a broader Latino talent pool.
Third, Latino activists must rise to the challenge of cultivating candidates and holding leaders accountable for closing the Latino leadership gap. As Mayor Walsh states, we are committed to working with our city leaders, rather than turning on each other.
The writer is also CEO of the community development corporation Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.