Howard Jordán is an educator, attorney, journalist, and political activist. He is the former Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx and teaches Public Administration, Criminal Justice, and Legal Studies.
He has a distinguished record of public service. From 1987 to 1991, he served as Executive Director of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Immigration, a 25-Assembly member commission addressing regional immigration issues. He also worked as: Legislative Assistant to former New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s Advisory Committee on Hispanic Affairs; at Harlem Legal Services, Inc.; and at the law firm of Franco & Anderson. He is a graduate of Yale University and New York Law School. During 1996-97, he was a Charles Revson Fellow at Columbia University, researching the “relationships between communities of color.”
Howard Jordan has also been a long-time contributor to the New York alternative media. He was the Editorial Page Editor of The Latino News, the first effort to establish a Latino interest English language newspaper in New York. For several years he appeared as a regular columnist for Hoy, a Spanish daily, and as a bi-monthly guest contributor to New York Newsday. In 1994 he co-founded along with political scientist Angelo Falcon, Critica: A Journal on Puerto Rican Politics and Policy, and served as its first managing editor. For the last ten years, he was the host of The Jordan Journal on WBAI-99.5FM in New York City.
Jordan has an extensive history of activism. In the early eighties, he was a founder of Latinos United for Political Action (LUPA), an organization dedicated to electing progressives to political office. Along with the late Richie Perez, he was also a founder of the Latino Coalition for Racial Justice, committed to combating police brutality in New York. In 1987, he chaired The Latino Rights Project, an organization dedicated to servicing victims of racial violence and police misconduct.
During his college years, Jordan directed Despierta Boricua, the Puerto Rican student organization at Yale University, and today continues this work as a member of the Latino Yale Alumni Association (LYAA). He is also active in the Afro-Latino movement in New York assisting in promoting and recognizing the African heritage of Latino communities.
During the height of racial apartheid in South Africa, Jordan founded Latinos for A Free South Africa, bringing together Latinos of every stripe to combat this invidious segregation. As Director of the NYS Assembly Immigration Task Force, he also spearheaded the release of the first report on Dominican immigrants in the United States and organized the first Puerto Rican-Dominican Dialogue in New York, sponsored by the National Institute for Latino Policy and Alianza Dominicana (at that time the largest Dominican social service agency in the United States).
As he reflects on his life and modest contributions, Jordan’s greatest source of pride is his ongoing efforts to build bridges between diverse communities. He often remarks, “Our enemy is disunity and divisiveness — the key to any real change — un cambio de verdad — is the ability of our communities and their progressive leadership to transcend their particular arena of struggle and join in a broader movement for social justice.”
THE LATINO SWING VOTE:
CHICAGO BRANDON JOHNSON TEAM “CHEWS” ON HOW TO GET CHUY GARCIA SWING VOTE SUPPORT?
Ever notice how so-called progressives and union bureaucrats always presume an operational unity with no pretense of explaining what their candidates will do for the Latino community.? Even in Chicago, the Johnson wing thinks they have the support of Chuy Garcia in the bag without making any real overtures to our community in Chicago. Perhaps even more troubling is that Rep. Chuy Garcia, the selected successor to replace our retiring beloved brother Congressman Gutierrez, is a city-wide leader, not just a “Latino” leader. Like what the progressives in New York did when they packaged Cynthia Nixon in the gubernatorial election and refused to explain what she would do for the Latino community? Not even a pretense of a visit to Puerto Rico or “speaking Spanish”. Lol, the reason why disgraced Gov. Cuomo received 80% of our vote that year. Latinos must renegotiate their relationship with our African American brethren serving as mayors of cities like Chicago, New York, Buffalo, Houston, and Los Angeles. What is the nature of their commitment to power-sharing? How many Latinos will be in this administration? We know Mayor Adams has fallen short. The late legendary political scientist Angelo Falcon did a study of how Latinos faired under African Americans. To his surprise, he discovered they did not fare any better than they had under white Mayors. One needs only ask how many Latinos in policy-making positions did Bill de Blasio have during his mayoralty and compare it to Adams. Different name same game.
So, if mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson wants our support, he must reach out to the Latino leadership and present his plan for Latino inclusion in the administration. Kwame Nkrumah once reminded us that unity is not an act of charity but one of mutual interests. The white candidate Paul Vallas is leading in the polls in Chicago, so Chuy Garcia is a crucial swing vote. Notice from the article he had “no comment.” Another example candidate for Mayor Adams in NYC garnered 70% of our vote, and outside the African American vote, we were his biggest supporters. Yet since his election how many high-level Latino appointments have you seen under Adam’s governance? Do you find Latina’s faces? Latinos of any stripe — Afro-Latino, Latinx, Boricua, or Hispanic, you all know whom we are talking about. No se hagan. Some of us elders yearn for the return of the days when our beloved brothers Harold Washington and Luis Gutierrez formed an unbreakable African American-Puerto Rican political block joined at the hip and inseparable in our commitment to social justice.
In short, Chicago demographically, once a Puerto Rican stronghold, has more Mexicans and together, must have mayoral candidates address the needs of our community as part of their agenda — not the customary, secondary hypocritical concerns. Rep Garcia should not let the so-called pseudo-liberal/progressives and union bureaucrats put him on the “defensive” with their hypocritical “are you a real progressive?” litmus test while invisibilizing our community. Chuy can take a political break and choose to stay home. I will be watching to see how our beloved brother Rep. Chuy Garcia wisely uses his “swing vote” status. Chuy whether you stay home, support Johnson or Vallas, we who are steeped in Latino political history know where your heart is. (https://chicago.suntimes.com/…/chicago-mayor-election…