If you haven’t read Vocero Hispano this week, http://www.vocerohispano.com/ you missed a write up on Hispanic Heritage Month:
Here is the article, in English:
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate our friends and neighbors with Hispanic heritage as well as the Hispanic arts and culture. This year it is also a time to reach out and help those who have been effected by the catastrophic weather events that have impacted the greater Hispanic community. Most recently Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Our hearts and prayers are with those living in Puerto Rico as well as the many family members who live locally and are grieving for their loved ones’ losses. Some have yet to hear from their loved ones and are living with tremendous anxiety as they continue to wait. While we could not stop the devastation that occurred we can control how we react to it. There are many events occurring to raise funds and gather supplies necessary to help the people of Puerto Rico rebuild their lives so please do what you can to support those efforts. With all our help and support the people of Puerto Rico will rebuild their lives. So as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we should also focus our efforts and take action on the issues our Hispanic community is facing whether they be here in Worcester or with their families and friends in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean that has been his so hard by this tragedy.
Worcester has a vibrant, proud, and diverse Hispanic community that includes many successful small business owners and non-profit organizations that support the community’s needs. Over 21% of Worcester’s residents are Hispanic making it the second largest population in the City and far outpaces the Massachusetts’ percentage of just over 11%. Yet the community continues to have a lower median income rate and lower percentage of home ownership than other ethnic groups. The Hispanic community in Worcester also has the highest percentage of student enrollment in Worcester schools and, again, far out paces the percentage at the state level. A clear sign that our Hispanic community is growing at a faster rate than any other in our community. As the population continues to grow the city needs to do more to address issues facing the Hispanic community and close the gaps. We are committed to the see the Hispanic community succeed.
When you look at a heat map of where Hispanics reside in Worcester you will see that the largest percentage is in South Worcester and District 4, in particular. You would think the area in the city that the second largest demographic population lives would be getting a lot of attention yet the evidence shows otherwise. While some City leaders claim that there is a renaissance in the City, you would not know it while traveling through District 4. The downtown development plan stops where District 4 starts and the District continues to be disconnected from much of the rest of the City. Many businesses have accessibility issues due to intersection configurations and restrictions. In addition to being left behind, District 4 struggles with safety and cleanliness. Many people avoid going out at night and live on streets plagued by litter and garbage. Our Hispanic community deserves better. We live in District 4 on Illinois Street. We want our neighborhood and community to succeed.
The Hispanic community has so much to be proud of and so much to offer. While many still struggle, so many have succeeded! Many are seeking a college education, home ownership, small business ownership, involvement with the community, and building strong families. It is a community that has taken on and responded to challenges with pride and achievement.
We are proud to live in the community. We are proud to be your neighbors. We are proud to serve you on City Council. And we are proud of your success.
Michael and Coreen Gaffney