Sounding Off: Javier Castaño – QueensLatino: “A Victory for the Latino Community of Queens”
Javier Castaño is Director of QueensLatino, a newspaper and website targeted to Hispanics in the borough of Queens (NYC). In the below article he explains the role of his community media property in the resignation of Seth Taylor, Executive Directory of the 82nd street Partnership, who oversaw the controversial Jackson Heights/82nd Street Bid expansion plans.
The resignation of Seth Taylor as Executive Director of the 82nd Street Partnership is a triumph for the Latino community of Queens. Taylor, who oversaw controversial Jackson Heights/82nd Street BID expansion plan to Roosevelt Avenue, lost the support of the Latino community in the area and this in turn led to his resignation. Taylor departure is also a victory for Queens Latino. The newspaper, in scathing editorial that exposed his unacceptable and often insulting behavior against the Latino Community of Queens, called for his unconditional resignation from BID.
In several occasions QueensLatino challenged Taylor for his condescending attitude towards the Latino community and for his use of foul language because some Latinos didn’t support the BID. When confronted for his use of vulgar language against several individuals who disagreed with him, he first denied it and when told that there was a recording of it, he didn’t apologize.
He went as far as to try, unsuccessfully, to ban QueensLatino from community events and resorted to insulting the paper’s staff writers, especially columnist Arturo Ignacio Sánchez. Anyone who disagreed with him was fair game for his foul language and condescending attitude.
The paper’s relentless questioning of his unethical, if not illegal, manipulation of the voting process to get the BID expansion approved, opened the Latino businesses’ eyes that in turn signaled the end of Seth Taylor.
QueensLatino has been all along in the forefront of the fight to defend the Latino community from Taylor’s misrepresentation of Latino businesses in Jackson Heights and Corona, and will continue to do so for as long as it is necessary.
QueensLatino is a special kind of publication. We are willing to fight for our community against any political or civic organization that its goals are to use Latinos to enrich itself or to gain political or financial power at the expense of the community. We are not just a number. We are a vibrant and viable community and we want the respect we deserve.
QueensLatino has made history. It is the first time a Spanish-language publication in Queens that through its editorial pages forces the resignation of a New York City public official.
Taylor wasn’t ready to confront a publication such as QueensLatino. And the same thing is happening to other people and organizations that can’t properly answer QueensLatino’s questions. What we are doing is basic journalism, plain and simple. We also know our city and its history.
QueensLatino is not in favor or against the BID expansion to Roosevelt Avenue. We just want to make sure that the Latino community understands what is at stake and the consequences of implementing or not such expansion.
Taylor is gone and this is good for the Latino community and the borough of Queens. We also hope the future will bring a better relationship between the 82nd Street Partnership and the Latino community.