Latinos have solidified their status as the second-largest demographic group in New York and nationally, and that has led to some significant political breakthroughs. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the country’s most iconic politicians, has been floated as a future U.S. senator, New York City mayor or even president. Robert Mujica, the state’s budget director, garners less attention but is perhaps the most powerful unelected official in the state. And this year, the ranks of Latinos in the New York City Council swelled to 15, up from 11 last year. 

Yet, a growing population has yet to propel Latinos into New York’s most powerful political posts. Not one has ever served as governor of New York, as a U.S. senator in the state or as mayor of New York City. The only statewide office ever occupied by a Latino is the relatively ceremonial position of lieutenant governor. 

City & State’s Power of Diversity: Latino 100, researched and written in partnership with journalists Felipe De La Hoz, Kim Gonzalez and Juanita Ramos, identifies New York’s leading Latinos, including government officials, business executives, labor leaders, academics, advocates, activists and others.

It is perhaps the least enviable task in New York City government to reform the Rikers Island jail complex, a crisis that has persisted for years. Louis Molina, the Bronx-born son of Puerto Rican parents and a former public safety chief of Las Vegas, was tapped by New York City Mayor Eric Adams to clean up the mess. In the months since, despite mounting criticism from numerous stakeholders, Molina has maintained his commitment to improving conditions and avoiding receivership. 

Source: City & State New York