Home Argentina community Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the Cinco de Mayo celebration

Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the Cinco de Mayo celebration

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May 6, 2022

Commissioner Manuel Castro, Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs: [Spanish]. Well, good evening and welcome to New York City’s Cinco de Mayo celebration at Gracie’s Mansion, hosted by Mayor Eric Adams. My name is Manuel Castro and I am the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs. And although I am responsible for the welfare of more than three million immigrants in New York and have been adopted by many communities over the past few months, I am especially honored to be here today in as the first Mexican-American Commissioner to hold this position.

Commissioner Castro: [Spanish]. So Cinco de Mayo is really a symbol of perseverance, despite all odds, despite all odds, it’s really our David vs. Goliath story. And that is why for immigrants it is a particularly important holiday for us. And that resonates because our communities here in the United States have faced so many challenges. And especially for the past two years, myself, as many of you know, crossed the Mexico/US border when I was five years old, growing up undocumented here in the city. And with other undocumented young people, I created the Dreamer Movement. And ever since, we have been fighting for our communities and for our families. And so it’s a testimony of what you can do in New York, that I can now stand here and be a commissioner for the city of New York.

Commissioner Castro: So first and foremost I want to thank Mayor Adams for his commitment to New Yorkers, with my experience, for his commitment to immigrants, by appointing someone with my experience as commissioner. So thank you, Mayor Adams, for this opportunity and for your commitment to immigrants in New York. You will see in this room, a broad representation of the thriving Mexican community in New York, from NYPD officers working to keep our community safe, striving for representation within the force, to delivery workers who have been so essential and have risked their lives throughout these years, to the teachers, administrators, civic leaders, nonprofit leaders, who over the past few years and decades have grown this community. So I want to congratulate you and thank you for being here. [Spanish]. Once again, thank you, Mayor Adams, for opening your doors and for your commitment to this community. And I mean, and our community means, [Spanish]. With that, I am proud to welcome the Mayor of New York City, Mayor Eric Adams.

[Applause]

Mayor Adams: Oh, Commissar, we have a full house. Oh, I want to know… You translate for me, don’t you?

Translator: I translate for you.

Mayor Adams: OK.

Translator: Yes. So you need to take a break.

Mayor Adams: Because I want my words to be heard.

Mayor Adams: I want my words to be heard.

Mayor Adams: I am not the mayor of anglophones. I am the mayor of all the languages ​​spoken in this city. When I was campaigning, I was on the train one day. It was in May. And I sat across from a family from Mexico. The mother was there with her baby. That just graduated from school. I looked at her. I saw my mother. I saw the pride. I saw hope. I saw the aspiration. The dream. From one day… Having her baby… Going from a kid to hopefully becoming mayor of the town. I went to her. And I told her she reminded me of my mother. And if I become mayor, I will do my best to make the voices and concerns of all New Yorkers heard.

Mayor Adams: I’m not just going to say it. I will do it. That is why I appointed Commissioner Castro, a dreamer and the first Mexican to hold this post. And we’re going to have so many more firsts. The first Latino to serve as the commissioner of the Department of Correction. The first African-American woman to serve as New York City Police Commissioner. You will see the continuation of those who will be the first to represent our city. I don’t know your concerns if you’re not at the table with me to address those concerns. Other people will talk about it, I’ll take care of it.

Mayor Adams: In this room today we have the leaders and consul generals of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and, of course, Mexico. And for far too long, you haven’t been in this house, the house of the people. We haven’t had a Cinco de Mayo celebration since 2008, so welcome. And to my brother, my good friend, the Consul General of Mexico, my brother Jorge, I can’t say how much I appreciate you, so much. And we’d like to congratulate tonight’s winner, Francisco Puebla, who helped catch the subway shooter last month at Sunset Park. And NYPD Detective Carlos Ramos. And the delivery people, who keep us going and allow the city to function. When everyone died, they got up.

Mayor Adams: Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of courage in the face of adversity. Against all odds. Fight for your independence. Struggle for self-determination. Fight to be included in your society. I say this to say that this courage, this strength, this self-determination cannot be left in the 19th century. That must be what you do, right here in America. It’s a celebration of freedom and opportunity. And that speaks to all of us.

Mayor Adams: Every New Yorker and American came from somewhere. So if someone says you’re going back to your country, you’re saying you’ll do it when they get back to theirs. You are on the front line to get us through these difficult times. New York City is America’s Mexico City. And you are representative of the diversity of our great city. And so, to my Mexican brothers and sisters. I want to thank you, not only for what you have done during COVID. But somewhere over there is the mother I saw on the train. I want to thank her for aligning me with my goal as mayor. And we will continue to move our city forward, in the right direction.

Mayor Adams: And Consul General, no matter how significant this day is, there is an even more significant moment for this day. It’s Commissioner Castro’s birthday. Happy birthday. So now I want to bring my good friend, the General Council of Mexico, to greet you. And he’s a true representative of what’s special about this city. And what we have to offer. General Consul.

[Applause]

[…]

Commissioner Castro: [Spanish]. And then I would like to invite Commissioner Ed Mermelstein and Commissioner Fred Kreizman. Join me, please. Commissioner Mermelstein and Commissioner Kreizman have both been great friends and colleagues. And so they will share a few words today. Well, first of all, commissioner Ed Mermelstein. Thank you.

Commissioner Edward Mermelstein, Mayor’s Office of International Affairs: Thank you, Commissioner Castro, and happy birthday. Again, my name is Edward Mermelstein, and I’m the commissioner of international affairs for the city of New York. My team and I are very proud to be with you tonight to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. I want to thank the general council and council staff who are with us this evening. Thank you all for your cooperation. Thanks also to General Council Islas and the Council of Mexico for their support of this event.

Commissioner Mermelstein: My office serves as a link between New York City and the international community, including the Counselor Corp and more than 70 trade commissions. We work daily to attract and retain businesses here and globally share the opportunities available in our cities. We also work with consulates to ensure that New York City agencies have access and resources and services for consulates.

Commissioner Mermelstein: I would like to join Mayor Adams, my fellow commissioners, and our entire administration in wishing everyone a wonderful Cinco de Mayo and recognizing and celebrating the wonderful contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans to New York and the United States. Feliz Cinco de Mayo.

Commissioner Fred Kreizman, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit: Good evening. Fred Kreizman, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. First of all, I just wanted to say good evening. And what an honor it is here to be back at Gracie mentioned to celebrate this wonderful Cinco de Mayo. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for recognizing the importance, the value of this community. And also the value of appreciation he has for this community by appointing the first Mexican Commissioner to Commissioner Castro. We regularly work closely together to ensure that communities across the city are served and well represented. And that the voice of the people is felt in all the agencies of the city. Once again, thank you, Mayor Adams, for ensuring that the diversity of the city is strong, that it is recognized and that everyone is valued. Thank you, Mayor. Thank you to everyone who participated. A happy Cinco de Mayo. And happy birthday, Manny.

Commissioner Castro: Thank you. We have a few certificates that we would like to present to some members of our community today. But first, I would like to recognize the presence of several of our incredible commissioners. Commissioner Gary Jenkins is here with us today from the Department of Social Services. Commissioner Jenkins, where?

Commissioner Castro: I want to make sure the community gets to know all of the Commissioners and how important this event is to us today. And we want to be sure to work closely with the committee. Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez is here with us today from the Department of Transport. Commissioner Annabel Palma of the Commission on Human Rights. And Commissioner Sewell of the New York Department of the NYPD.

Commissioner Castro: And I’m sure I’m missing a few more commissioners, but I wanted to make sure you all know how important this community and our Latino immigrant community is, that we’re all here today. And so to present our first certificate to Detective Carlo Ramos of the Mexican Police Association NYPD. I would like Commissioner Sewell to join me and Mayor Eric Adams.

[Crosstalk]

[…]

[Applause]

Commissioner Castro: The next certificate will be given to Francisco Puebla. One of our newest heroes who recently identified the Sunset Park Shooter. And we want to honor him today. Not only is he Mexican, but his last name is Puebla. Please.

[Applause]

[…]

Mayor Adams: Hold on, hold on. And we really want to thank our amazing District Attorney, Borough of the Bronx, DA Darcel Clark, who is truly a true partner in public safety. And also speaking of the Bronx, check out some of these photos, our Bronx Borough president, Vanessa Gibson, is also there. You know, I just want to make sure. And I see our Acting Fire Marshal, I just saw her face to face here, Commissioner Kavanagh who is also here in the back. Erick Salgado, another of our senior leaders is here. I now see your faces appear.

Jorge Islas Lopez, Consul General of Mexico in New York: And for the final certificate, we welcome Cesar Solano, Juan Solano of the NYC Delivery Food Movement. The Deliverers.

[…]

Lopez Islands: Live! So to conclude the program, [Spanish].

Mayor Adams: I thought I also saw Commissioner Palma here. Let’s have a birthday cake and some food!

[Applause]