Latino Power

Linda Pillcorema, Reporter

Two politicians, Adriano Espaillat and Marisol Alcantara have made history in the U.S. Congress and the New York Senate! Adriano Espaillat has become New York’s newest Congressman to the U.S. Congress and Marisol Alcantara is now New York’s newest State Senator representing the (D) 31st Senate District. Both give pride to the Latino and immigrant communities.

Adriano Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic on September 27, 1954 and was educated here in New York City. Now at the age of 64, he was sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representative by the House Speaker Paul Ryan on January 3, 2017. Congressman Espaillat became the first Dominican-American and the first formerly undocumented immigrant sworn into power. He told the Daily News, “Personally it’s very rewarding. I’ve tried several times, the third one is the charm. And this is also a collective victory for many folks in this district who want a new chapter written.” He is the first non-African American since World War 2 to represent Harlem in the House, marking a change in the neighborhood and in the city. Congressman Espaillat will be fighting for a fair living wage, immediate and effective investments in affordable housing, meaningful criminal justice reform, and better educational opportunities. Adriano Espaillat currently represents the neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, the Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, Clinton, and Chelsea. When the blackout occurred on July, 1999 he made an agreement with Con-Edison to invest addition $100 million in Upper Manhattan’s electrical infrastructure at no cost to ratepayers.

Marisol Alcantara came from the Dominican Republic at the age of 12 and was educated in Maryland. She later came to New York City to pursue a Bachelor’s in Government and Political Science from Manhattan College. Since the start of her career, her passion was to always empower and educate minorities, immigrants, and women. Alcantara was appointed as the chairwoman of the State Senate’s Labor Committee, a top leadership post in the legislature, and she is the first Dominican to ever have this position. She will also be serving as a member of the Higher Education, Infrastructure, Cultural Affairs, and Social Services Committee. As State Senator, she looks forward to making college affordable for everyone, no matter their immigration status.

New York City looks forward to many of the achievements both will make for of our city, especially for many of the minorities living in this city. Espaillat and Alcantara demonstrate the importance that everyone can achieve anything no matter your ethnicity or immigration status. They can help benefit many people in our city, because they can relate to our similar struggles that we have to go through in the city. Hopefully, Adriano Espaillat and Marisol Alcantara will serve as role models for the young Americans to achieve their goals in this country. All you need is heart, and character, to follow your dreams.