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Somos Conference signals election over, pole positioning for key roles begins

November 4, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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SAN JUAN — The ink is still wet from Tuesday’s ballots, and some races are still undecided, but lawmakers and politicos have already descended on the annual Somos conference in San Juan.

Somos el Futuro is a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement and educating of issues important to Puerto Rican’s and the broader Spanish communities in the United States and beyond. Their annual Somos conference hosts all levels of New York and Puerto Rican government — and those looking to influence those officials — together for a days long series of dinners, galas, panel discussions, service-oriented events, and more.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of the Archdiocese of New York and Assemblymember Maritza Davila address a crowd of volunteers and residents of Loíza, Puerto Rico. Photo by Andressa Tude

Wednesday afternoon featured a “Day of Service” event put on by Catholic Charities of New York and the nonprofit Caritas. Labor officials, advocacy leaders and politicos were bussed to a lively event in the Luíza area of the island, just west of San Juan.

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Back at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, which plays host to this year’s conference, the lobby was abuzz with New York’s political class eager to get into the mix with each other on the schmoozing and political jockeying sure to take place over the next few days.

In line to check-in to the the Royal Sonesta were incoming Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and State Senator Kevin Parker chatting it up. Former MTA Chief Diversity Officer Michael Gardner was holding court in a seating area off the main lobby. Seemingly everywhere you looked were giddy staffers getting the lay of the land as the bold faced names began to arrive.

City & State’s popular “Campaign Confidential”author Jeff Coltin took to Twitter to solicit tips, while CHIP’s Executive Jay Martin joked that his flight was host to UFCW’s Stu Appelbaum, Councilmember Carolina Rivera and the new Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

Photo by Andressa Tude

Aside from the heady programming for this year’s conference, the Eagle and other close observers will be paying attention to which of the New York City Council speaker candidates are getting the most attention from their peers and power brokers. Also on the docket will be which candidates to replace Kathy Hochul as Governor of New York are spending extra time pressing flesh ahead of what is shaping up to be a bruising Democratic primary for Governor.

Stay tuned for here more updates for San Juan.

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