FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 26, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Cruz gets support in quest to win Assembly seat
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Catalina Cruz announced that she
earned the endorsements of former City
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
and former Councilwoman Julissa
Ferreras-Copeland on Monday, April 23.
Cruz’s announcement came ahead of
the April 24 special election for the vacant
39th Assembly District seating covering
much of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson
Heights. Ari Espinal, the sole candidate
running in the special election, will fi ll
the seat for the remainder of the calendar
year. Cruz is challenging Espinal in the
Democratic primaries on Sept. 13.
Cruz will be the fi rst DREAMer to
run for offi ce in New York and, if elected,
would become the third DREAMer
to take public offi ce in the United States.
“I am humbled to receive the endorsements
of two incredibly accomplished
Latinas from whom I have learned so
much about advocating and legislating.
I am running for the state Assembly
because Albany can do better by electing
grassroots candidates with proven track
records. I am focused on solving the tough
problems our communities face like fi xing
the MTA, helping seniors aff ord to stay in
their homes, and ending the overcrowding
crisis in our schools,” said Cruz.
She likened their endorsements to a
“passing of the torch” in that people see
“someone who is fi ghting for them in the
same way as these progressive leaders”
and make that positive connection.
Cruz has worked with both Mark-
Viverito and Ferreras-Copeland in the
past and both women have expressed
their enthusiasm to endorse her.
“Catalina Cruz has the vision and the
experience necessary to become an outstanding
member of the state Assembly.
I have personally witnessed her passion
for social and economic justice and her
unique ability to produce results. I’m
confi dent she will accomplish even greater
things in the state Assembly and I support
her enthusiastically,” Mark-Viverito
A Colombia native, Cruz moved to
New York at 10 years old with her family.
Aft er graduating from John Jay College of
Criminal Justice and the City University
of New York School of Law, she became
involved with local politics. Cruz has had
experience as the director of Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo’s Exploited Workers
Task Force and most recently as Ferreras-
Copeland’s chief of staff .
She sent a message to those who are
against DREAMers in the United States:
“We are just as American as anyone else.
We all pay taxes. We all deserve a meaningful
chance at creating a better life for
Cruz added that people in her neighborhood
have strongly supported her
“Th e community response has been
fantastic. Th ere was an incident with my
mom at the butcher shop where someone
came up to us and said, ‘You’re Catalina
Cruz. And you’re her mom!’ because our
story has been out there,” she said.
Th ough she is excited about the positive
feedback from her community, she
shares that there are challenges on the
“What they don’t tell you about campaigning
is how expensive it is. You hear
about it but don’t believe it. Th at takes it
out of the hands of the grassroots and the
community,” she added.
Photo courtesy of Mariela Lombard
Mark-Viverito, Ferreras-Copeland Endorse Catalina Cruz for State Assembly
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