Community Expresses Concerns For Power Grab by Hispanic Heritage Council

Defrocked Revered Casimiro Rodriguez, Sr. imposes himself on Community

By: Jose C. Pizarro

In response to Panorama’s article on the City of Buffalo’s lack of preparedness for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade – I’m in agreement.

This project is in its second year and it should have been completed.

What also concerns me is Mr. Rodriguez and his audacity to think that he and the Hispanic Heritage Council speak for the Hispanic Community.

Mr. Rodriguez is a part time resident of Western NY. He spends a great deal of time going between Buffalo and Florida and in my book doesn’t give him the right to make any decisions on behalf of this community. For him to delay the project without getting the community’s okay shows total disregard. His insistence that the Hispanic Heritage Council’s emblem be placed at the entrance of Avenida San Juan shows a lack of respect for the existing Community Based Organizations that have been working in this community for many years.

The Hispanic Heritage Council has not been in this community longer then Hispanic’s United, The Belle Center and Westside Community Services. These organizations have been in the trenches serving the Hispanic Community for quite some time and if any organizations need to be recognized it’s not the Hispanic Heritage Council.

Who does he and the Hispanic Heritage Council think they are that they can give the impression that they are the lead organization in this community?

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The mission of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, Inc. is to foster and inspire awareness, understanding, and appreciation of past, present, and future contributions of the Hispanic community in Western New York.

For them to be involved with the Niagara Street Project is not part of that mission.

They are acting outside of what they told the IRS that they would be doing.

I am also critical of Councilmember David Rivera for allowing the Common Council to designate the Niagara Street corridor from City Hall to Porter Avenue as the Hispanic Heritage Corridor. This designation has upstaged the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade’s hard work to get Niagara Street renamed to “Avenida San Juan”.

Everyone knows that “Avenida San Juan” is where the Puerto Rican/Hispanics live. The designation of The Hispanic Heritage Corridor is a power grab by the Hispanic Heritage Council and it’s leader Casimiro Rodriguez, Sr. I hope Councilmember Rivera will not allow Mr. Rodriguez and the Hispanic Heritage Council to have their emblem at the entrance of “Avenida San Juan.” We don’t need anymore unnecessary changes to our community’s “Avenida San Juan”. This name needs to stand alone period! The community needs to know what happened to the Rite Reverand Casimiro Rodriguez, Sr.

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at:

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