Celebrating progress ‘Hispanic pioneers’ to honor their own

A local Hispanic civic association will honor public servants whom they believe have led the way for Latino involvement in Hudson County government for more than 20 years.

The Hispanic Pioneers Civic Association, Inc., which was founded this past fall and is based in Hoboken, will honor politicians from Jersey City, Weehawken and Hoboken on April 20.

Benjamin Lopez, a Jersey City councilman and the chairman of the association, said the group also wants to raise money, increase membership, develop leadership, run cultural seminars, offer scholarships for local youths, and expand statewide.

“The Hispanic Pioneers Civic Association has been formed to promote, recognize and honor Hispanic leaders and non-Hispanics who have opened the doors and contributed to the involvement of the Hispanic community in all walks of life,” wrote Lopez in a letter to prospective participants recently. Lopez said that in the long-term, the group hopes to raise funds to establish a Hispanic Heritage and Cultural Center in Hudson County.

On April 20, the group is holding a black tie-optional dinner at Casino on the Park in Jersey City. They will honor Jersey City councilpersons Ben Lopez, Jaime Vasquez, Efrain “Huffy” Rosario, Fernando Colon, Mariano Vega and Nydia Davila-Colon.

They will also honor Robert Sosa, a councilman in Weehawken, who is the first elected Hispanic councilperson in that town.

Also, they will honor Edwin Duroy and Llourdes Arroyo, who were the first Hispanic man and woman to be elected to the Hoboken City Council. Neither currently serves on the council.

They will also honor Jose Arango, the county’s first Hispanic assemblyman, who was elected in 1985. The keynote speaker has not yet been announced. Music will be provided by the Rebelion Orchestra. Tickets are $100 each, and cocktails will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, call 333-9922 or e-mail HispanicPCA@aol.com.


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