Posted by: gmontealegre | November 7, 2013

LUIS QUINTANA stepping up to the plate in the City of Newark

Last month at the confirmation of the Hon. Luis Quintana as Council President of the City of Newark, politicians, community advocates and fellow council members celebrated his appointment as the first Latino ever to head the City of Newark Council council_luis_quintanaand the fact this appointment was opening the door for him to also become the First Latino Mayor of the City of Newark, with the election of Cory Booker as Senator for New Jersey.

During the event a friend and well known labor representative Lizette Delgado, Executive Director of the Service Employees International Union New Jersey State Council (SEIU) likened Luis Quintana to baseball player Mariano Rivera one was leaving and the other “dusting off the plate” to begins a new season.”  

I really liked Delgado’s speech and I’m including it here: 

By Lizette Delgado

Good Afternoon,

I am just so thrilled to be here today as a witness on this history day as Luis Quintana becomes the first Latino Council President of the City of Newark.

And I am honored to be a part of this celebration for the Honorable Luis Quintana who I am proud to call my friend and my hermano.

Many of you know that my husband is very involved in baseball and, like many here today, we watched and read the stories about the great Mariano Rivera who retired his pin stripes just days ago after 19 years.

And it occurred to me that, just like Number 42, Luis Quintana was coming into the Newark version of the Big Leagues in the mid-nineties when he became the first Latino at-large- Councilman.

For the past two decades, they both rose through the ranks and never ran away from the challenge and the pressure they faced.

Of course, the big difference here is that Mo is stepping away from the plate while Luis is only dusting off the plate as he begins a whole new exiting season, so to speak, as Council President.

And if you will permit me to continue the baseball analogy, I found a quote by Mariano that I think describes Luis Quintana’s work ethic, his dedication and his passion for his city and the people here.

Mariano siad: “Every day I come to the ballpark, I thank God that I’m wearing this uniform, for giving me the opportunity to be successful and last that long, to pitch that long and to do it good, for the New York Yankees.  Its great.”

I know that every time Luis Quintana walks into City hall, he walks with purpose, with gratitude, and with one goal in mind: to do the very best for the men, women and children of Newark.

And can we talk about the love he has for the City of Newark

I know there are so many men and women here today who also love this great city, but when I see Luis Quintana and hear him talk about Newark, that love and that energy just blows me away.

It’s almost like he is wrapping his arms around the entire City of Newark in a big bear hug.

And anyone who has ever gone to one of his annual Three Kings events for the City’s kids and families can testify to what I am talking about.

It is that drive, that energy, that love and that passion that has fueled Luis Quintana since he started his public service almost two decades ago.

And as someone who proudly wears his Puerto Rican heritage, Luis continues to set a shining example for all who live in the City of Newark and beyond..and that is what (sic)  we must never forget who we are and where we come from.

I know Luis and I share the belief that if you don’t know who you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.

Today, he again makes history as a Latino trailblazer.

Today, he continues to open even more doors for all of our children and grandchildren so that they can confidently step through them and join him and say together PRESENTE!

Felicidades Council President Luis Quintana as you continue your journey as one of the best public servants this City has ever had the fortune to have.

And keep pitching those home run!

Thank you.

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