- Photo: David McIntyre
What organization(s) are you involved with in Kingston and what is your role?
At Radio Kingston, I am the secretary of the board of directors, and also a host and executive producer of the daily show “La Voz con Mariel Fiori" (Monday-Friday, 10-11am).
I am also a member of the PTO at the George Washington Elementary School in Midtown Kingston. I am the managing editor of La Voz magazine, a monthly publication in Spanish based at Bard College, that is distributed in five counties in our area. And last, but not least, a graduated fellow of the Good Work Institute (cohort 2).
Where do you go in Kingston to recharge?
Zephyr Float, Kingston Point Beach, and, of course, home!
What is the biggest challenge facing Kingston?
The lack of diversity in positions of power, be it at the city, the educational, the police, or the business level.
What is the most woke thing Kingston could do?
To assure everyone an affordable home and good quality of life.
Where is your favorite place to go in Kingston for a bite or a beer? What do you like about it?
It depends where I am, and who I am with. If during working hours, Mi Casita, La Hacienda, Peace Nation, and Mi Pueblito are some of my favorite places, because of the quality of the food, the low prices, and the varied Latin American menu. If I am with my children, definitely Yum Yum in Uptown, because their children's menu is delicious, super healthy, and my children really love seaweed. I enjoy the Fun brew at Keegan Ales, which I also share with friends at home. I love to cook! So my favorite place to grab a bite is with my family at home.
Why does your organization’s work matter?
My purpose is to use my tools—my journalism, my passion for communication-to build better, informed members of the community, knowing that well-informed citizens make better decisions about their government, and about their lives. I see great alignment at the two organizations I work with, Radio Kingston and La Voz magazine with this mission. Ignorance is no bliss, knowledge is power.
What challenges/pain points does your organization face?
La Voz magazine is 15 years old and strong in the community, however, we are always in need of funds to continue our mission of serving the Spanish-speaking communities of the Mid-Hudson Valley. Our funds come from advertisers and tax-deductible donations. Radio Kingston is a relatively new enterprise in Kingston, a very exciting place to be right now, which has grown incredibly in terms of programs and people working. At this point, every nook of the office is being used, and sometimes it may feel a bit tight, but at least it’s warm.
What is one service/offering/event your organization offers that the community might not know about?
La Voz is bringing the musical play Cumbia de mi Corazon, in Spanish, with English subtitles, to Kingston on October 19 (and to the Trolley Barn in Poughkeepsie on October 20), written by Toby Campion and directed by German Jaramillo, of iD Studio Theatre in New York City. We are very excited to be offering this fun cultural event in Kingston at the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church, thanks to Radio Kingston and other sponsors. Find tickets on Eventbrite.
Why do you love living in Kingston?
I love walking to everything. I walk my child to school, I walk to work, I walk to restaurants and other places. I also love the people, my Midtown neighbors, Kingston Point Beach, and the possibility of being in nature just a short drive away.
If you could change one single thing about the city, what would it be?
I would like the city to start a municipal composting program.
Where do you see Kingston in five years?
Kingston is experiencing rapid change right now, so I see that it could head in several different directions. What I would like to see in five years is a truly diverse and inclusive community, where currently underrepresented communities occupy positions of power throughout the power structure, and where there are no more negative aspects of gentrification.
Who would you most love to get on your radio show and why?
I like to have people who lead with their example, who inspire others through their actions, in any field. I like to learn from the experience and knowledge of others, so typically, I love having immigrants, academics, and anyone who can express themselves in Spanish, and address one of the 10 themes I deal with on a typical week of the show. The 10 themes are: business, well-being, politics, health, education, family, entertainment, the environment, immigration, and culture.
Tell me your secret to sounding happy when broadcasting on the radio?
That's an easy one: I love what I do, I just smile when I am talking, and I am present.