By Alexandra Simon
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. celebrated members of the Dominican-American community at a Dominican heritage event on Feb. 8. Four honorees, including Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, were recognized for their contributions. The lawmaker said she was happy to see other members of the community come out and support.
“It was a wonderful, beautifully put-together and very creative event, and there was a big presence from the Dominican community, who came out to celebrate us,” said De La Rosa.
Other honorees were NYPD Assistant Chief of the Patrol Services Bureau, Fausto B. Pichardo, Executive Vice President of SEIU 1199, Estela Vazquez, and local business entrepreneur, Rodolfo Fuertes.
She said being acknowledged along with fellow compatriots that she admires was a moment of pride.
“I felt honored that the borough president selected me to receive the recognition, especially in the company of honorees there,” said De La Rosa. “I’m very proud of chief Pichardo and Rodolfo Fuertes, who I’ve known for four years, and Estela Vasquez, who’s been a pioneer in the labor movement. As a fairly new legislator, I’m happy I was chosen to be honored among those ranks.”
With February as Domincan Heritage Month, and the island nation set to celebrate its 174th year of independence on Feb. 27, De La Rosa added that staying in touch with her roots was an important facet of her everyday life.
“I immigrated here as a baby but as a young legislator, not only is it important to my community, it’s important to remember our culture and be able to pass that forward,” she said. “For me, it’s about highlighting members of the community and how the Diaspora has progressed in this country.”