U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) hosted an event on Sept. 18 in Woodside to honor the achievements of Hispanics/Latinos as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The event, which was held at Mamajuana Café, drew more than 250 guests, including Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights) and Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City), Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights).
U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) gave the keynote address during the event and three community leaders were honored for their efforts to improve Queens and the Bronx.
“Latinos have shaped our country and played a vital role in making the United States a competitive, innovative leader,” said Crowley. “I am proud to honor three amazing individuals who’ve dedicated their lives to helping communities in Queens and the Bronx. It was also an honor to stand besides Congressman Gutiérrez – the strongest advocate for immigrants in Congress.”
Both Crowley and Gutiérrez called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act—legislation that would grant conditional residency to 800,000 alien minors and, upon meeting further qualifications, the ability to earn citizenship over time.
“President [Donald] Trump and the Republicans are attacking American values on so many fronts, from DACA and deportations to health care and voting rights,” said Gutierrez during the event.
At the event, Crowley recognized Lorena Kourousias, director of Life Enrichment Services at the Violence Intervention Program; Norma Potros, a local immigration attorney and advocate; and Israel Rocha, Jr., CEO of Elmhurst Hospital, for their advocacy and commitment to their community.
“I am grateful for the efforts that Congressman Joseph Crowley and his team are making to uplift the work of my community, to make visible our hard work, to send the message that we matter, we are together, strong and here to stay,” said Kourousias.
“This award gives me the energy to keep fighting and to know that I’m not alone is this fight, and that my community matters.”
“I am honored to receive this recognition. It is especially meaningful as it comes as we celebrate 50 years since the U.S. began celebrating Hispanic Heritage week as an acknowledgement of the important contribution of Hispanic and Latino Americans in this country,” said Potros.
“I am humbled to receive this recognition from Representative Joseph Crowley during Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Rocha.
“The hospital I have the honor of serving provides care for one of the world’s most diverse communities.”