Pressure Mounts For Trump Supporter and Non-Profit Leader to Step Down - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Pressure Mounts For Trump Supporter and Non-Profit Leader to Step Down

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    Pressure Mounts For Trump Supporter and Non-Profit Leader to Step Down

    Philadelphia community groups continue their relentless crusade to oust Congreso de Latinos Unidos CEO Carolina Cabrera DiGiorgio after she was photographed sitting in the front row of President Donald Trump's rally in Harrisburg last month.

    A letter sent on Monday to Congreso’s board of directors and signed by more than 15 groups questioned her ability to lead and asked for her immediate resignation.

    “We cannot understand how the executive director of the largest Latino social service agency in Philadelphia would not just participate but be front row and center at a rally where chants of ‘build the wall’ were prominently featured," the letter read.

    "Even more unimaginable is an executive director of said social services organization visibly supporting a president whose goals are to slash social spending to agencies like itself, to destroy the Affordable Care Act and to remove health care access from at least 26 million people in our country all while separating families and incarcerating people through cruel deportation and detention practices and policies,” the letter continued.

    DiGiorgio is married to the chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party. Her political affiliations were known when she was appointed to head Congreso in January, board member Esperanza Neu said.

    DiGiorgio and other members of Congreso's leadership team have not returned repeated calls and emails for comment.

    Adding to the quagmire is local artist, activist and senior graphic designer at the Community College of Philadelphia, Gilberto Gonzalez. He issued a letter not only calling for DiGiorgio to be fired, but for the entire executive team to reconsider its standing within the Latino Community. 

    “Not one of their executive team has ever lived in the barrio,” Gonzalez said. “Not only do you have an executive director that has completely lost touch with Latinos in the region, she has a staff that has no connection.”

    Controversy erupted earlier this month after Philadelphia Weekly placed DiGiorgio at President Donald Trump’s Rally on April 29. Photos and video show DiGiorgio, wearing a pink tank top, snapping pictures of the president with her phone and clapping as he spoke.

    Community activists insist the issue is not her party affiliation, but instead her support of Trump’s policies.

    “Her recent actions demonstrate not only her lack of credibility, but also her privilege in not being affected by the policies of the administration she vehemently supports," said Nikki Lopez, executive director of Galaei, a Philadelphia-based social justice organization.

    "How can a community who has been directly affected by the oppression of Trump's administration trust a leader who is supporting the oppression our Latinx community is facing? The first step in rebuilding that trust is accountability. No more avoidance, it's time that our people are heard."