2019-02-06 / Political Page

Cruz Sworn In To Assembly, First DREAMer In NYS Legislature


Assembly Member Catalina Cruz is joined by her mother, Rosa Agudelo, as she is sworn in by Justice Jenny Rivera. Photo John Barragán Assembly Member Catalina Cruz is joined by her mother, Rosa Agudelo, as she is sworn in by Justice Jenny Rivera. Photo John Barragán On Sunday, January 27th, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz took the ceremonial oath of office to begin her first term as an Assembly member of the 39th District, in front of her friends, family, community leaders, elected officials, and the constituents who elected her. Cruz is the first DREAMer elected into the New York State Legislature. The celebration took place at the New York Hall of Science in Corona.

Addressing a standing room only crowd, Cruz thanked her supporters and reiterated her commitment to bringing about progressive change for her community and for New York.

“Throughout our campaign, we worked as a community. We wanted everyone to feel like their voice was more important than the voices of developers, corporations, and big donors. We knocked on doors, went to Girl Scout meetings, visited mosques, met at coffee shops, and asked, ‘What is important to you?’ and ‘How can we work together to improve our community?’” said Assembly Member Cruz. “Over the next two years we will continue to work together just as we did during the campaign. We will prioritize driver’s licenses for all, protecting the environment, and fixing the criminal justice system. We will push to secure funding to protect our seniors, fully fund our children’s education, and finally fix the MTA.”

The oath was administered by the first Puerto Rican judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, Justice Jenny Rivera. New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm served as the master of ceremonies. Remarks were provided by the following officials: US Senator Chuck Schumer, Congress Member Adriano Espaillat, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and Queens County Supreme Court Justice Carmen Velasquez.

There were performances by community members including: classical guitarist John Oliver Marin from the Performing Arts Conservatory of New York; the Pledge of Allegiance by St. Mark’s Girl Scout Troop 4079; the Presentation of The Colors by Corona Emergency Medical Services; the National Anthem sung by Camila Noguera from the Perna Kids Foundation; an invocation led by Imam Khalid Latif, the executive director of the Islamic Center at New York University; Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, founder of Malkhut; and Bangladeshi singer Krishna Samia Shultana.

A benediction was delivered by Father Antonio Checko, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. In addition, special remarks were given by fellow DREAMer and friend, Mehreen Ahmed. The night was highlighted by a speech from Cruz’ mother, Rosa Agudelo, which was translated into English by Cruz’ siblings: Laura, Monica, and Hector Cardona. Thereafter, guests moved into a reception in the Hall of Science’s Great Hall, featuring food, drink, and dancing to music provided by the Charlie Cajares (The Lawyer of Salsa) Salsa band and DJ.

Assembly Member Cruz and her staff are here to serve the needs of the 39th District of New York, encompassing the communities of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona. Her district office is located at 82- 11 37th Avenue, Suite 607, and her office is open daily, Monday through Saturday. For inquiries, please contact Cruz’ Chief of Staff Robyn Enes, at 718-458-5367, or at enesr@nyassembly.gov.

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