|Member of the New York Senate from the 31st District|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2017
|Preceded by||Adriano Espaillat|
|Succeeded by||Robert Jackson (elect)|
|Residence||Washington Heights, Manhattan|
|Alma mater||Manhattan College (B.A.)|
CUNY Murphy Institute of Labor (M.A.)
Marisol Alcantara is an American politician in New York City. A member of the Democratic Party, she represents the New York State Senate's 31st District. Her district includes portions of Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, the Garment District, Hamilton Heights, Harlem, Inwood, Midtown Manhattan, Morningside Heights, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights in Manhattan. Alcantara is a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of Democratic senators who allied themselves with Senate Republicans. On January 3, 2019, she will be vacating her seat after having lost the most recent election due to anger over the IDC's tactics.
Life and career
Alcantara was born in the Dominican Republic and emigrated to New York City at the age of twelve. She has resided in Upper Manhattan ever since. She graduated from Manhattan College with a degree in government and politics, as well as the CUNY Murphy Institute of Labor, where she earned her Master’s degree.
A Coro fellow, Alcantara has spent her career working on pro-immigration initiatives as well as with labor organizations. She has helped organize with SEIU 32BJ, as well as with the New York State Nurses Association. In politics, Alcantara has held the position of a Democratic District Leader and served as the campaign manager for Ydanis Rodriguez in his first campaign for the New York City Council.
New York State Senate
In 2016, state Senator Adriano Espaillat ran for U.S. House of Representatives in the race to replace retiring long-serving Congressman Charlie Rangel of Harlem. Upon winning that election, Espaillat's state Senate seat became open. While Alcantara did not declare her candidacy until after Espaillat won his Congressional primary in June 2016, she entered the race to succeed him when it became clear no other notable Dominican candidate would emerge. Facing Bloomberg administration alumnus Micah Lasher and former New York City Council member Robert Jackson, Alcantara narrowly won the September 2016 Democratic primary with a plurality of 31% of the vote; the race was considered one of the elections to watch in the 2016 state primaries, and emerged as one of the closest that cycle. Alcantara easily won the general election in the heavily Democratic district with over 85% of the vote.
Upon winning her seat, Alcantara announced that she would join the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of state senate Democrats that allied with the senate Republicans, allowing Republicans to control the chamber. This did not come as a surprise, as she owed Independent Democratic Leader Jeffrey D. Klein for his assistance in her primary election campaign. After joining the majority coalition, the freshman Senator was named Chair of the Labor Committee.
Alcantara proposed a bill that raised the limit for discretionary contracts for minorities and women from $20,000 to $150,000 that passed.
In April 2018, Alcantara and her IDC colleagues rejoined the Senate Democratic Conference. Subsequently, the Republican conference stripped Alcantara of her position as Chair of the Labor Committee.
In the September 2018 Democratic primary election, Alcantara was challenged again by Jackson (who also won the backing of the Working Families Party) as well as by Thomas Leon and Tirso Santiago Pina. This time, Jackson won the four-way primary in a landslide with 58% of the vote to Alcantara's 36%. Alcantara's defeat was attributed to long-simmering anger with the former members of the IDC. As part of New York State's electoral fusion laws allowing candidates to run on multiple ballot lines in one election, Alcantara still appeared in the November 6, 2018 general election as the third-party Independence Party of New York candidate; however, Alcantara conceded to Jackson and pledged to work with him.
- NYSenate (2017-01-09), New York State Senate Session - 01/04/17, retrieved 2018-01-11
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- Reisman, Nick (January 11, 2017). "New IDCers Get Committee Posts". New York State of Politics. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- McKinley, Jesse. "Cuomo Champions Opposition to Trump's Order on Refugees". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
- "Albany Passes Last-Minute Bills to Bolster Women and Minority Businesses". 22 June 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
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- Spector, Joseph (April 16, 2018). "After seven years, it's all over for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference". LoHud.com. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Kirstan Conley (April 7, 2018). "Rebel state senators who rejoined Democrats stripped of committee chairs". The New York Post. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- David Lombardo; Rachel Silberstein (April 6, 2018). "Ex-IDC senators stripped of committee posts". Albany Times-Union. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- Reisman, Nick (April 6, 2018). "IDC Lawmakers Lose Committee Posts". New York State of Politics. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
- "Robert Jackson (New York) - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
- Brendan Krisel (September 13, 2018). "NY 31st State Senate Results: Robert Jackson Declared Winner".
- Vivian Wang (September 13, 2018). "Democratic Insurgents Topple 6 New York Senate Incumbents". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Almukhtar, Sarah. "New York Primary Election Results". Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "New York State Unofficial Election Night Results". New York State Board of Elections. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Susan Arbetter [@sarbetter] (September 14, 2018). "Here's a corrected rundown of the party lines that former IDCers' who lost their Democratic primaries are still on: Klein: Ind Valesky: Ind; WEP Peralta: Ind; Reform; WEP Hamilton: Ind; WEP Alcantara: Ind Avella: Ind; WEP" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Mahoney, Bill (September 17, 2018). "Life after defeat? Questions remain about plans for Democratic primary losers". Politico. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Lewis, Rebecca C. (September 14, 2018). "Defeated ex-IDC members have yet to concede". City & State NY. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- @NY31Alcantara (September 14, 2018). "Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers that came out to support my campaign. Congratulations to our new State Senator Robert Jackson. As a community, we must come together & work with our new elected official to ensure our community continues to be well represented" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
| New York Senate, 31st District