County Exec. Donovan seeks to cut Latinos from Bergen Community College Trustee Board

Cid Wilson BCC Trustee(inglés sigue abajo) Bergen Latinos ha unido con la Coalición de Liderazgo Latino para solicitar que la Ejecutiva del Condado, Kathleen Donovan ó continua la membrecía de la Sra. Germaine Ortiz como Trustee de Bergen Community College, ó la reemplaza con otro Latino. La Sra. Donovan espera conseguir ratificación de los 4 candidatos que ella ha seleccionado en la reunión de los Freeholders Diciembre 5. Si estos cambios se aprueben, la Ejecutiva habrá logrado reducir a la cantidad de personas étnicamente minoritária en la junta a solamente dos miembros – de los nueve total.

La Coalición solicita a los Freeholders que pospongan a la ratificación de nuevos miembros de la junta y respetuosamente solicitamos a la Sra. Donovan que escoja nuevos candidatos que reflejen mejor a la diversidad del colegio en lo cuál 52% de los estudiantes son de raza minoritária y 32.4% son Latinos. El Censo de 2010 demuestra que residentes Latinos representan 16.8% de la población total del Condado de Bergen.

Participe en la lucha para mayor diversidad en BCC:

  • Asistir a la reunión de Freeholders para demostrar su aporte
    Wednesday 05 Dec 2012
    1 Bergen County Plaza
    Hackensack NJ 07601
  • Contactar a Kimi Wei por email, en Facebook o en Twitter.
  • Pasar la voz sobre éste asunto importante!

Bergen Latinos, together with other New Jersey and Bergen County Latino organizations, have formed the Latino Leadership Coalition to call on Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan to either continue Ms. Germaine Ortiz’ tenure on the Bergen Community College’s Trustee Board or replace her with another Latino/a. On Wednesday, Dec 5, Ms. Donovan will ask Freeholders to ratify the four new nominees she has selected. If they are approved, only two ethnic minority individuals will remain on the college’s nine member Trustee Board.

The Coalition requests that the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders vote to postpone ratification of new trustees until a more diverse slate of candidates can be presented. We call upon Ms. Donovan to balance Trustee Board membership to reflect the diversity of the college: 52% of its student body is non-White, and 32.4% of students are Latino. 2010 Census figures show Latino residents represent 16.8% of Bergen County’s total population.

To get involved in the fight for diversity at Bergen Community College

  • Attend the Freeholder meeting to participate in a show of community solidarity
    Wednesday 05 Dec 2012
    1 Bergen County Plaza
    Hackensack NJ 07601
  • Send an email to Kimi Wei at: and
  • Spread the word about this important issue!

Copy of Letter to County Executive Kathleen Donovan

This is a copy of the letter sent to the Hon. Kathleen Donovan, Bergen County Executive from the LATINO Leadership Coalition of Bergen County:

November 30, 2012

Dear County Executive Donovan:

We write to express our serious concerns regarding the lack of diversity on the Board of Trustees at Bergen Community College (BCC) and your decision to not re-appoint Germaine Ortiz to the Board. Mrs. Ortiz is unquestionably qualified to serve on this board as her eight years of services on the Board has help earn the institution the recognition that it currently holds. On November 21, 2012, the Bergen Record reported that you are making four appointments to the BCC Board of Trustees, of which two are new appointments and two are re-appointments.

Of the four names mentioned in the article, none represent diverse communities. Additionally, counting the two appointments made by you last year, you will have made a total of six appointments to the BCC Board of Trustees in your tenure as Bergen County Executive and none of the appointments represent diverse communities.

If the four names you have submitted for appointments are approved by the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, onlyCid Wilson, Trustee Vice Chairman (who is Afro-Latino) and Dorothy Blakeslee, Treasurer (who is Asian American) would be Non-Caucasian among the eleven appointed members to the Board of Trustees. We consider this to be unacceptable for an institution where 52% of the student enrollments are from diverse communities.

According to the 2010-2011 BCC Fact Book, 32.4% of the students are Latino, 10.8% are Asian American, 7.6% are African-American, 1% is from other ethnicities, and 48.1% of the students are Caucasian. Non-Caucasian students are contributing 39.2% of the total annual revenues at BCC; the County of Bergen’s share of the BCC annual budget is only 10.7% (using the Fiscal Year 2012 budget).

We believe that it is unjust and biased that BCC, which has 52% student diversity and contributes nearly 40% to the annual revenues, lacks an appropriate and comparable level of diverse representation on the Board of Trustees. We are asking that you please reconsider your appointment decision by re-appointing Germaine Ortiz and/or appointing another Latina/o to the BCC Board of Trustees to better mirror the diversity of the student enrollment.

BCC has a rich history of diversity. It’s what makes BCC one of the greatest community colleges in the United States. We are sure you agree that diversity strengthens learning at the campus.

Diversity helps to prepare students for a globally-competitive workforce. Diversity helps to create a better understanding of one another’s cultural and racial heritage.
Diversity promotes multicultural and racial unity. Diversity strengthens Bergen County given that most of the students, faculty, and staff live in Bergen County.

However, BCC must show diversity through leadership and that begins with the Board of Trustees which is the governing body of the institution. BCC cannot be a beacon of diversity when the representation on the Board of Trustees lacks diversity.

Four years ago, five of the eleven trustee appointees represented diverse communities on the Board of Trustees. As Bergen County Executive, you have the ability to restore the balance of diversity that better reflects the diversity of the student enrollment.

Accordingly, we are calling on you to please reconsider your recent appointment decision ahead of the December 5, 2012 Bergen County Freeholder meeting and nominate more diverse trustees. As Latinos are the largest percentage of students, we feel it’s appropriate to call on you to use this year’s appointment opportunity to nominate more Latinos.

We thank you for your consideration and are available to meet with you to discuss further.

The Latino Leadership Coalition

La Coalición de Liderazgo Latino incluye
The Latino Leadership Coalition includes

Latino Organizations of Bergen County

Club Colombia USA, Julio Salcedo President
Dominican American Organization, Inc., Lucilo Santos-President
Fundacion Casita de Legui, Inc., Nick Matos (Garfield)
Hispanic USA, Jesus Galvis-President
Latin American Community Action, Neida Colon
NJ coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leader (CONLAMIC-NJ) – Rev. Miguel Rivera, Board President
Pastor Herando Ruiz
Pastor Ana Guerra
Pastor Israel Torres
Pastor Jose La Luz, Hackensack
U.R.G.E.N.T. (United Residents of Garfield Engaging Neighborhood Transformation)- Miguel Reyes, President
YOBILU, Yolanda Naranjo-President
Madres por Obama – Kimi Wei, Founder
Bergen Latinos – Kimi Wei, Founder
Kokokidz – Luis Ariel Lopez Wei and J Ivan Gomez Wei, Founders

NJ Latino Organizations with Bergen County Delegates

New Jersey Conference on Dominican Affairs- Maria Teresa Feliciano
President Latino Action Network, Frank Argote-Freyre, President

NJ Latino Elected Officials

Marlene Caride, Assemblywoman, District 36
Councilman Carlos Aguasvivas, Bergenfield
Councilman Elect Hernando Rivera, Bergenfield
Councilman Evaristo Burdiez, Bogota Councilman Jorge Nunez, Bogota
Councilman Jorge Meneses, Hackensack