Making the Most of Ortiz

You got to wonder what’s really behind the public campaigning for the state comptroller position, a job which is quietly being sewn up behind closed doors.

But at a press conference on the City Hall steps a few moments ago, supporters of Assemblyman Felix Ortiz gave it their best shot, saying that electing him would bring “balance” and “representation” not just to the face of Albany, but to the places where the state pensions are invested.

Why hadn’t previous comptrollers, most recently a Democrat from Queens and an African-American from Manhattan, invested more in the Hispanic communities?

“It’s the same old same old same old,” said Peter Fontanes, chairman of the New York State Hispanic American and Migrant Association. “Photo-ops, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, as they say, it doesn’t happen.”

He went on to say that years ago, there weren’t many Hispanic firms that could handle the investments. But now, that’s different. “We’re hoping our support of Felix will translate to a serious opening, a serious dialogue to bring some of these management firms in so they can re-invest in our community.”

So is this about getting Felix Ortiz elected, or about calling for more investment in the Hispanic community?

“It’s about both,” Fontanes said. “This city cannot city survive with two different cities, with two different communities. You can’t have $20 billion going down town, where people can’t even afford housing in the outer boroughs.”

– Azi Paybarah