The 1991 City Council elections may sound long gone, but they not only radically changed the Upper Manhattan political environment; the race gave way to a rivalry that is still strong 23 years later.
Back then, a teacher named Guillermo Linares made history by becoming the first Dominican to occupy a public seat in the U.S.
Among the four candidates Linares defeated was Adriano Espaillat, who was president of the 34th Precinct Community Council. Five years later, he too broke new ground by becoming the first Dominican assemblyman in the history of New York State.
The rise of both Dominican politicians expanded the power of the Hispanic front that Puerto Ricans had established decades before. However, it also froze political representation for the Dominican community. In the decades after these breakthroughs, Dominicans have not seen major changes in their political sphere.