During a press conference on Friday, June 19th, 2015, Alderman Roberto Maldonado announced a new initiative on Paseo Boricua which would include the placement, along the strip on Division between Western and Mozart, of the flags of Latin America.
Alderman Maldonado highlighted the fact that since the 37th annual People’s Parade was dedicated to the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Installation of the Flags of Steel, which now demarcate the commercially and culturally vibrant Puerto Rican focused Paseo Boricua, it was most appropriate that he would make this announcement to coincide with this occasion.
A banner which read, “Paseo Boricua Welcomes the Flags of Latin America”, served as the backdrop for the press conference at Nellies restaurant. Consul generals of several countries of Latin America were present including those of Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Also, in attendance were a group of students from Chicago’s Urban Life Center.
At the press conference as well, José E. Lopez, executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, presented this year’s Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade Grand Marshals. He pointed out that the selection of these Grand Marshals were different than previous years because the 2015 Grand Marshals were three community organizations (rather than individuals) and they were: the United Leagues of Humboldt Park, the Roberto Clemente Little Leagues and the Cocineros Unidos de Humboldt Park. Mike “Mikey” Sanchez represented the United Leagues of Humboldt Park, Eliud Medina Jr. represented the Roberto Clemente Minor Leagues of Humboldt Park, Jesus “Jessie” Sierra and Juan Sanchez represented the Cocineros Unidos.
The press conference received widespread coverage in Chicago’s media including Univision, Telemundo, NBC, WBEZ, Hoy Newspaper, Extra Newspaper, as well as various social medias.