Opinion: Nor'easter Makes The 50 Influential List In Hartford Magazine! As For Latinos …

By Bessy Reyna
CTLatinoNews Opinion Columnist
Dear October 2011 Nor’easter:
I felt compelled to write you this letter to congratulate you on having been one of the many nominated as “50 Most Influential” and also for having “risen to the top” after an exhaustive discussion in the editorial board of Hartford Magazine. A remarkable achievement because according to the e-mail I received from Jennifer T. Humes, of that magazine’s communications office, “All selections for the Most Influential List were made based on the individual’s contribution to Greater Hartford and without any consideration of the person’s race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
Wow! You are really one lucky storm to have been included in such august company! Please allow me to call you Nor’easter, as the magazine did — you really made your presence known in Connecticut. I think you should have been called Perses, like the Greek Titan of destruction. Others have called you “monster storm,” but that is such a mundane name, lacking originality, and I don’t think it suits your newfound personhood. But I digress.
You must be having a great time looking at page 39 of the magazine in which you appear; unless you prefer watching web’s pictures and videos of the mess you left behind: broken trees, down wires, chaos, and, befitting your Titanic name: destruction.
But, here’s the truth: I am writing to you because it so happens that among the “50 Most Influential” there is not one person who is a Latino. There are a hockey player, two college basketball coaches, one university president, a couple of restaurant owners, heads of nonprofits, a disgraced utility company president and many CEOs.
Nor’easter, I am the first to admit that you had a short-lived effect in our lives, by depriving us of the comforts we have become entitled to, living in an industrial and civilized society; but, it is also true that there are many people whose influence is much more lasting than yours, and Voila! by the way, they happen to be Latinos.
After reading your list, I decided to ask my Facebook friends to send me names of some Latinos they consider “Influential” in Connecticut. To use the magazine’s words, those “rising to the top” are:
Dr. Daisy Cocco-DeFilippis, Naugatuck Valley Community College president, writer Marianela Medrano, founder of the festival “Confluenzia”; Eastern Connecticut State University president Elsa Nuñez; Art Professor Imna Arroyo; Dr. Carmen Cid, ECSU Dean of Arts and Sciences; and Ana Ortiz, Windham Superintendent of Schools and a military reservist. From UConn, Maria Martinez, associate vice-provost of student success. The names of the Hon. Jose Alberto Cabranes, United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit; Robert Fernandez, political director of 4C’s Union and educator; and, James Flores, political activist, were also mentioned.
There you have it Nor’easter, in just a few minutes these names started to appear in response to my request, and I know there are so many more to be included.
I hope that sometime in the future Connecticut will have magazines with lists that will be inclusive of all the people who donate their time, talent and resources to influence the lives of all who live here.
(Bessy Reyna is an opinion columnist for CTLatinoNews.com. Her views do not necessarily represent those of this website.)


9 thoughts on “Opinion: Nor'easter Makes The 50 Influential List In Hartford Magazine! As For Latinos …

  1. Bessy, once again you articulate a blatant issue that must be addressed by the Latino community. This is part of a mainstream challenge that will not be rectified unless we do something about it. Thank you for your “dead on” opinion.

  2. Here’re three more names: the most obvious one to me is Hartford’s mayor Pedro Segarra (after all, Hartford is the state’s capital); but I also vote for you, Bessy Reyna, as Connecticut’s leading Latina journalist; and also my colleague Pablo Delano, Professor of Studio Arts at Trinity College, who is an internationally-renowned documentary photographer with sixteen years of activism in the arts in Hartford since he arrived here in 1996.

  3. Bessy,
    Thank for voicing what many of us feel regarding the selection process. You are also one of our most influential citizens.

  4. Many thanks to Bessy who continues to be our voice! Perhaps next year will be the year of inclusion. Let our contributions be noted outside of our own community for a change!

  5. Thank you Bessy for being so relentless. Some folks just refuse to do their homework. You and Edna Negron-Rosario make it into the CT Women’s Hall of Fame, but aren’t considered influential? Nor any of the other people mentioned in your letter (just to name a few). Cuando aprenderán? – we ARE HERE!!!

  6. Certainly UConn’s Maria Martinez and at Eastern, President Elsa Nuñez and you, Bessy Reyna, are a formidable trio to influence the nutmeg state. Justice, take off the blindfold and be stunned by the obvious influence.

  7. Any list of “most influential people” in CT which doesn’t include Latinos isn’t a complete or accurate list. It says more about the intellectual laziness of those who compiled it than about the continued effort by people of every color, gender and sexual orientation to move our state toward fairness for all of us.
    A list that doesn’t include everyone is of no use to me.
    Nor’easter, you can do better.

  8. Thank goodness for Bessy Reyna for being the eyes, and ears as well as spokesperson for us all. Saying what needs to be said and to the people who need to hear it. Equality for everyone. God bless her.

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