By Nafisa Masud
Marisol Alcantara, if elected, will become the first female Dominican senator in New York history. Alcantara was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the U.S. at a young age. Her traditional upbringing has guided her interests in worker’s rights, immigrant resources and female empowerment.
The Democratic hopeful is running in a four-way race to represent District 31, which covers the broad expanse of west Manhattan, beginning in Midtown and stretching all the way up to Marble Hill.
A former Democratic district leader in West Harlem, Alcantara is no stranger to politics. But it’s her community experience and activist efforts that’s earned her the backing of labor unions across Manhattan. She organized the 37,000-member labor union for the New York State Nurses Association, co-directed the Caribbean Power in Vote efforts in Florida and guided the victories of janitors and service workers to unionize in Delaware and with Service Works United, respectively.
Alcantara worked for the Community Board in her long-time home of Hamilton Heights, acted as a union delegate for local immigrant worker organizations and has participated in numerous programs supporting women and people of color.
Her campaign has raised $57,140 as of August 29, the most noted contributions from New York Senators David Carlucci, Jeffrey Klein and the New York State Nurses Association, according to the New York State Board of Elections.
On Tuesday, Alcantara will face Robert Jackson, Micah Lasher and Luis Tejada.
She lives in Hamilton Heights with her family and hopes to fight for these issues regardless of the primary results.
- Promotes safeguarding workers’ rights within large corporations and businesses
- Hopes to provide more affordable housing in upper Manhattan
- Supports greater funding of local public schools
- Wants to inspire and support more Latinos and women in public office
- Plans to help push for the Dream Act, which gives young immigrants greater educational opportunities