Julissa Ferreras

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Julissa Ferreras
New York City Council
Assumed office
February 24, 2009
Personal details
Born Julissa Ferreras
November 2, 1976
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence New York
Occupation City councilwoman

Julissa Ferreras is a Democratic member of the New York City Council. Appointed in January 2014, she is the first woman, first person of color and the youngest to chair the Committee on Finance,[1] the Council's most powerful, overseeing New York City's $75 billion budget. She resides in and represents the 21st district of Queens, which includes East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona, including most all of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.[2]

Early career[edit]

Her career started as the leader of the Corona Youth Council at the age of 14, a community organization. She later moved on to the Presidency of the NAACP Youth Council for Corona and East Elmhurst, a chapter of the NAACP.

At age 19, after graduating from high school, she became the director of a Beacon program housed in one of the most crowded public schools in the world, Public School 19Q.[3]

Political career[edit]

Her political career officially commenced in 2001 when she became a Democratic National Convention delegate appointed by Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette. She then became the chief of staff and campaign manager for her then-predecessor Councilman Hiram Monserrate. She briefly left the public sector and went on to become the New York Director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials for two years.

In September 2008, she was named one of City & State's "40 under 40" for being a young influential member of New York City politics.[4]

Steven Castro[edit]

In September 2009, Ferreras' district office hired Steven Castro, a man with cerebral palsy. Castro performed clerical work, and as of March 3, 2010 had not received a pay check. Along with not paying Castro, his hours were reduced which prevented him from receiving health benefits. Ferreras's office claimed that Castro had not received pay due to a clerical error, and that Castro would receive full back pay.[5] In October 2010, Steven Castro filed a lawsuit in federal court against Ferreras.[6] The case was dismissed on June 3, 2014 by United States District Judge Nina Gershon at a Brooklyn court.

Campaign against the Triumph of Civic Virtue[edit]

In February 2011, Ferreras joined then U.S. representative Anthony Weiner in a press conference to lobby for the removal of the Triumph of Civic Virtue statue in Queens Borough Hall park in Kew Gardens,[7] which did not lie within her district. Since the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal after which Weiner ceased to speak out on the issue, Ferreras continued to voice her desire to have the statue removed.[8]

LIBRE Scandal[edit]

From 2003 into 2008, Ferreras and her mom Josefina took turns overseeing the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment (LIBRE), which was funded entirely with public money. 16 checks totaling just over $8,000 were issued to family members and a baseball league ran by Ferreras's father. The state attorney general’s Charities Bureau says nonprofits must assign more than one authorizer to sign off on checks, but Julissa and her mother often signed checks by themselves.[9]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hiram Monserrate
New York City Council, 21st District