The Progressive Caucus Alliance is proud to support this growing slate of progressive champions for New York City Council in 2017:
Previously endorsed candidates:
Bill Perkins, Manhattan, District 9
Carlina Rivera, Manhattan, District 2
Carlina Rivera is a community activist and lifelong resident of the Lower East Side. With her experience in housing, education, criminal justice, small business preservation, and disaster preparedness, she is ready to fight for District 2 in the City Council and improve the quality of life for every resident.
Over the past decade, Carlina has been a part of efforts to deliver over 500 units of affordable housing into lower Manhattan, space for a future public school, and over $335 million for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project to create an accessible waterfront and protect families from future disasters. She has helped hundreds of seniors age in place, advocated for better transportation and protected low-income families from predatory landlords and harsh regulations.
As Legislative Director for Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Carlina helped shape legislation to improve health, address the oversaturation of construction, take on landlord harassment, and improve inefficiencies within city agencies. She has been part of the city budget process assisting in the allocation of over $5 million for infrastructure projects to renovate parks and upgrade technology in classrooms, and the designation of over $600,000 to increase and expand programming throughout the district.
Carlina has served in many community leadership positions, including Community Board 3, Bellevue Community Advisory Board, Democratic District Leader in the 74thAssembly District and on the Tenants’ Association of her building.
In 2010, Carlina was honored by Good Old Lower East Side for her work in negotiating community benefits during multiple development projects and was awarded the Manhattan Young Democrats’ Award in 2014, and the Viva Loisaida Award in 2016.
Carlina is the daughter of a hardworking single mother who is a dedicated civil servant and proud union member. Carlina lives with her husband, a local small business owner, in the building where she grew up.
Marjorie Velázquez, Bronx, District 13
Marjorie Velázquez was born and raised in the Bronx. The daughter of Puerto Rican parents who moved here in the 1970’s to create a better life, she learned the value of hard work, dedication and education from a young age as her parents worked their way up and became proud small business owners.
Marjorie attended P.S. 106 and M.S. 127 in Castle Hill and St. Catherine Academy for high school in Pelham Parkway before earning her degree in Finance and Accounting at the Stern School of Business at NYU. She worked in several corporate finance, budgeting and accounting positions, and most recently served as a Senior Accountant in the Corporate Finance Group at DIRECTV Latin America, where she designed and implemented accounting strategies for South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.
In 2012, Marjorie suffered life-changing injuries from a workplace accident and a subsequent serious car crash that left her temporarily disabled. Always a fighter, she struggled through seven surgeries and a broken, bureaucratic healthcare and insurance system, but found a path to recovery through giving back to her community.
During her recovery, Marjorie’s life went from one of painful struggle to one of public service. Marjorie helped elect Ritchie Torres to the NYC Council, joined Bronx Community Board 10 where she serves on the executive board as treasurer, and also cofounded Bronx Women United, dedicated to empowering women through political and civic engagement.
Marjorie is also the Democratic District Leader and an executive board member of the Chippewa Democratic Club, both in the 82nd Assembly District, and was the treasurer for the Liberty Democratic Association in the 80th Assembly District.
Marjorie has dedicated her life to public service and to fiercely and tirelessly advocating for her community. Marjorie lives in Throggs Neck with her husband, Jeff.
Diana Ayala, Manhattan, District 8
Diana Ayala is a candidate for City Council in the 8th District. She currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. She has worked for nearly two decades serving the people of the 8th District in social service agencies and government, and is a passionate advocate on issues including housing, gun violence and senior services.
Diana was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and moved to New York City with her family as a child. Growing up in public housing after a time in the shelter system, she experienced numerous challenges that would help give her a unique voice and perspective in government and politics, and drive her passion for public service.
As a teenage mom-to-be, the father of Diana's son was shot and killed in a senseless shooting, after which she returned to shelter. She later entered into a new relationship that proved abusive. In the face of these challenges, she found the personal strength to start her life over. She enrolled in school and received her degree in Human Services from Lehman College.
Diana first worked as a Senior Center Director in East Harlem for seven years. She went on to serve as Constituent Services Director and then Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker Mark-Viverito.
In her current capacity, Diana has been instrumental in crafting legislation that has become law, from expanding tenants’ rights to cracking down on the sale of synthetic marijuana (K2). Diana has worked hand-in-hand with constituents to address issues ranging from housing, homelessness and mental health, to schools, immigration and gun violence. She is a partner with the people and a strong voice and aggressive champion for what she believes in.
Diana lives in East Harlem with her life partner Frankie. She has four children and three grandchildren, and also lives with two rescued dogs and three cats.