“I was saddened to hear about the passing of Herman Badillo, a trailblazing Puerto Rican leader. Badillo was the first Puerto Rican Congressman and first Boricua to become Bronx Borough President. He served as a Deputy Mayor for New York City and he also ran for mayor. Herman rose as a leader in the 1950’s and 60’s, an era in which he defended a community that was openly branded as “a problem” for this city. He successfully fought to eliminate literacy tests and English-only ballots meant to deny Puerto Ricans and others their right to vote.

Herman indeed provoked controversy in his later years. But his place in history – as a leader who dared to throw doors open and run for elected citywide office— is undeniable and a credit to him and the community he championed. Que descanse en paz.”