I come from a working-class immigrant family who came to America to start a family because they were determined to provide a better life for me and my siblings. Seeing how my parents struggled to make sure that my family had what we needed in life, it was then that I learned the importance of a quality education.
Knowing how education changed my own life, I moved to East Harlem to become a math teacher at Central Park East High School after graduating from the University of Michigan. During my timeat Central Park East High School, I achieved some of the highest math test scores in the area and was awarded the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which fully funded my graduate education at Pace University.
After teaching, I was driven to continue to fight for children in my community, education equity, and economic opportunity by joining Math for America and the NYC Department of Education. At Math for America, I focused on what makes a great teacher and how to get those teachers in the schools that need them the most. At the NYC Department of Education, I worked with partners across New York City to expand pre-K from 20,000 children to more than 70,000.
Outside of work, I became a community activist and joined Manhattan Community Board 11. In 2012, I was elected Treasurer of Community Board 11 where I implemented innovative ways of generating money and improved budgetary efficiency. During my time on the board, I created the Friends of Community Board 11, which allowed the Community Board to raise extra funding for job fairs and other community based functions. I founded the Community Board 11 State Liquor Authority Subcommittee, which created a liquor license process that insured businesses were communicating with the local community about development in the area and encouraged local hiring. I also served on the Board of Union Settlement Association, the largest nonprofit in East Harlem focused on early education, career development, and senior centers in District 8.
For more than 10 years, I’ve been fighting to improve our community as a teacher, community board member, and public servant. As City Councilman for District 8, I will continue to fight to make sure every child receives a good education, that every adult secures a good paying job, and that every family has a safe, affordable place to call home.