|Address||62 Park Terrace West |
New York, New York 10034, United States
Apr 18, 2012 02:19pm
|Info||n 1996, Adriano Espaillat became the first Dominican-American elected to a State House in the United States. He represents the 72nd Assembly District, which encompasses Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill in Upper Manhattan. He is a member of the following Committees: Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Children & Families; Corporations, Authorities & Commissions; Insurance; and Real Property Taxation. He is also first Vice-Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and a member of the Puerto Rican & Hispanic Task Force. He was recently appointed by New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to Chair of the New York State Task Force on New Americans. |
During his first term in office, Assemblyman Espaillat introduced and voted on numerous legislative initiatives on education, public safety, tenants' rights and the environment. He supported successful passage of legislation that extended the J-51 Housing Program, which prevents landlords from hiking tenants' rents for major capital improvements to their buildings. Assemblyman Espaillat's voting record on environmental issues has been rated as excellent by the group Environmental Advocates in New York State. Perhaps his most important legislative initiative to date was his vote to reaffirm tenants' rights by supporting the extension of the rent control and stabilization laws of New York State to the year 2000.
During his first term in office, his District Office served over 5,000 constituents. Assemblyman Espaillat has brought government to the people by activating neighborhood legislative advisory groups on education, labor, economic development and quality of life. The membership of these advisory groups is composed of an ethnically and racially diverse group of local leaders and constituents, with full participation by both men and women.
Espaillat has an outstanding record as a community activist and supporter of issues that affect the disadvantaged, working people, families, and that protect economic development and neighborhood revitalization. In 1994, Espaillat became the Director of Project Right Start, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to combat substance abuse by educating the parents of pre-school children. This pilot program has now been implemented in six cities throughout the country and in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In 1991, Espaillat was chosen as a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Dominican Advisory Board, where he served for two years. From 1992 to 1994, Espaillat served as Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office. This organization offered bilingual support groups for battered women, and provided relief, compensation, counseling and therapeutic services for families of homicide victims and other crime victims.
Since 1986, Espaillat has actively served on Community Planning Board 12 as a member of the Executive Board. Espaillat became a strong voice in the community by organizing tenants and advocating for their rights. He successfully petitioned for greater police services in the community. His tireless efforts resulted in increased foot patrol, block watches, the creation of the new 33rd Police Precinct and other successful crime prevention initiatives in Northern Manhattan. Espaillat, however, consistently attributes all accolades to the community by stating: "It was the community's passion for public safety that allowed the changes to take place." He actively opposed budget cuts that devastated services to senior citizens and fought for more programs for local youth.
In 1980, Espaillat joined the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, a non-profit agency contracted by the city of New York to provide pre-trial services to the New York Criminal Court system, where he worked as the Manhattan Court Services Coordinator for eight years. Today, Espaillat has helped resolve hundreds of conflicts among his constituents during the past ten years by volunteering his services as a state certified mediator at the Washington Heights Inwood Conflict Resolutions and Mediation Center.
Espaillat believes that an effective leader must have the compassion to feel for our problems and the strength, vision and the leadership to provide viable solutions. Most importantly, however, is one's disposition to persevere in the face of adversity and humbly serve the entire community. He graduated from Bishop Dubois High School in 1974. In 1978, he earned his B.S. degree in Political Science from Queens College, and later completed postgraduate courses in Public Administration at the New York University Leadership for Urban Executives Institute.