Nine-time city applicant hopes to be a Hispanic voice in politics

8 months 4 weeks 2 days ago April 19, 2016 Apr 19, 2016 Tuesday, April 19 2016 Tuesday, April 19, 2016 1:50:00 PM CDT in News
By: Andrew Hebert, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Carlos Ortiz applied for nine unpaid city positions in hopes of being appointed onto any of the Columbia boards or commissions. 

Ortiz said, "All of the boards and commissions sounded interesting."

He said he submitted as many applications as possible to increase his chances of getting a position. 

Ortiz said he hopes his Mexican-American background will make other local Hispanics and Latinos comfortable enough to ask for governmental help. 

Ortiz explained, "Some people don't understand English very well, so knowing someone who actually knows Spanish gives people a way of asking questions in their native language." 

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said, "In all of the years that I have been on the city council, I don't think I have seen anybody apply for that many of our boards and commissions."

She said, "I think it's great we have someone so passionate about wanting to volunteer for our community, but I think it would be impossible to serve on all of those boards and commissions."

Ortiz said he knows he probably couldn't handle the workload of all nine positions but said, "I believe I could do four."

Ortiz said he ultimately just wants to volunteer his time to help the community and be an advocate for Hispanics and Latinos throughout Columbia.  

The Columbia City Council is scheduled to make city boards and commissions appointments at its meeting on May 16.  

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