NYC Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras to Deliver Keynote

NYC Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras

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(Paterson, NJ) – The Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) announced today that New York City Councilwoman and Chair of the NYC Finance Committee, the Honorable Julissa Ferreras, will deliver the keynote address at the 15th Annual New Jersey Conference on Dominican Affairs (CODA), slated to take place at Rutgers School of Law – Center for Law & Justice at 123 Washington Street in Newark, NJ on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

The theme of the Conference this year, which commemorates both Black History Month and Dominican Heritage Month, is “On the Road to Power Via Coalition Building.”

“We are truly honored to host NYC Councilwoman Ferreras as the keynote speaker at the 15th Annual Conference,” said Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, President of the Institute for Latino Studies. “We credit her, along United States Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso, and community activists Carlos Rodriguez and Daisy Dominguez for being the advisors who, 15 years ago crossed the Hudson River from New York to guide a group of us in New Jersey in putting together the first, and still the only state-wide conference on Dominican Affairs in the United States. They came from The City University of New York as student leaders, having just initiated Dominicans 2000, a successful civic movement from where leaders of the caliber of NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez have emerged.”

“Join us on this special occasion as we welcome Julissa back to us as the Keynote Speaker of the Conference she helped shaped 15 years ago,” said Nestor Montilla, Sr., CODA Conference Chair. “Ferreras will be joined by dozens of students, attendees from the Jewish, Black, and Latino communities, as well as leaders from several advocacy organizations, including The American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, the Passaic County Civic League, and among others, the Dominican American National Roundtable.”

Approximately 400 attendees are expected this year from throughout New Jersey, the tri-state area and beyond.

Councilwoman Ferreras will deliver the keynote address at noon after two concurrent forums about Jewish, Latino and Black relations.

For more information and to RSVP, click here. 

About Council Member Julissa Ferreras:

Council Member Julissa Ferreras represents the 21st Council District in Queens, serving the neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Jackson Heights.

With her election to the 21st Council District in 2009, Julissa became the first Latina elected to political office in Queens.

After being re-elected for a second term in 2014, Julissa was appointed by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to the serve as the first woman and first person of color to Chair the City Council’s Committee on Finance. In this role, Julissa oversees the City’s $75.3 billion budget as well as the Department of Finance, Banking Commission, Tax Commission, Comptroller’s Office, Department of Design and Construction and Independent Budget Office. Julissa also has oversight authority on budget and tax-related legislation, fiscal policy and revenue, and certain programs and Services administered by other agencies, such as the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Small Business Services. As a lead member of the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team, Julissa works alongside Speaker Mark-Viverito to determine the Council’s priorities, as it relates to restoring cuts and asking for funding in the Mayor’s spending plan each year, and ensure each borough in the City receives equal representation.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Committee on Finance, Julissa is a member of key Council Committees, including Committees on Public Safety, Economic Development, Standards and Ethics, Consumer Affairs, and Cultural Affairs. She is also the Co-Chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus and a member of the Policy and Program Working Group, the Women’s Caucus, and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.

Julissa was tapped early in her life as a natural community leader – by Helen Marshall, former Queens Borough President and the last woman of color to represent Queens in the City Council. Marshall appointed 14-year-old Julissa to serve on the Corona Youth Council, where she started a youth employment program. From there, she became president of the Corona-East Elmhurst NAACP Youth Council, a position she held for three years, and started her lifelong work of bridging the gaps among our communities.

She entered the workforce as Assistant Director of the Community Conciliation Network in Corona, and shortly thereafter became the Beacon Director at P.S. 19, the nation’s most overcrowded school. As Beacon Director, she gave hope to at-risk youth with mentoring, after-school programs and homework help – creating quality programs that served many children. Julissa’s involvement in the Beacon Program brought her to the forefront of many community issues.

When someone was needed to represent the community, it was Julissa who was called upon by Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette and Congressman Joseph Crowley to serve as a New York State delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. She then went on to become Chief of Staff for the Council Member of her home district. Upon taking a hiatus from this position, Julissa was selected as the acting New York Director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). To this day, Julissa still holds a seat on NALEO’s Board of Directors, joining more than three dozen of her fellow Latino elected and appointed officials throughout the country.

In continuing her service to the local community, Julissa has also served on the Board of Directors of Elmcor and the 82nd Street Business Improvement District.

A variety of organizations have benefitted from Julissa’s service and leadership. For her tireless efforts, Julissa has been honored by numerous community and civic organizations. Some of her most recent recognitions include: The 2014 Crain’s Rising Star 40 Under 40 Award; 62nd Annual Freedom Fund Political Service Award from the Corona East Elmhurst NAACP; The Business Leadership Award from the Statewide Association of Minority Businesses PAC; The 2011 Rising Star Award from the Queens Courier; City University of New York’s Educational Leadership Award in honor of her outstanding support and commitment to higher education and CUNY schools.

As the only child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Julissa is committed to the rights of all New Yorkers, with a particular emphasis on the growing immigrant community. A native New Yorker, Julissa grew up in Corona and currently resides in East Elmhurst.


Concejal Julissa Ferreras Oradora Principal de CODA 2015


NYC Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras

NYC Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras

(Paterson, NJ) – El Instituto Para Estudios Latinos (ILS) anunció hoy que la Concejal y Presidente del Comité de Finanzas de la ciudad de New York, la Honorable Julissa Ferreras, será la oradora principal de la 15ª Conferencia Anual Para Asuntos Dominicanos de New Jersey, pautada para el domingo, 22 de febrero en la Rutgers School of Law- Center for Law & Justice, Newark.

El tema de la Conferencia de este año el cual conmemora ambos, el  Mes de la Herencia Afro-Americana y el  Mes de la Herencia Dominicana, es  “Camino al poder a través de coaliciones.”

“Nos sentimos verdaderamente honrados  al tener a la Concejal Ferreras, como la oradora principal en la 15ª Conferencia”, dijo la Dra. María Teresa Montilla, Presidente del Instituto Para Estudios Latinos.

“La reconocemos,  junto a la Embajadora de los Estados Unidos en Uruguay, Julissa Reynoso, y los activistas comunitarios Carlos Rodríguez y Daisy Domínguez como los asesores iniciales que hace 15 años cruzaron el río Hudson desde New York con el fin de guiar a un grupo de nosotros en New Jersey a coordinar la primera, y hasta ahora la única conferencia estatal para asuntos dominicanos en los Estados Unidos. Vinieron de la Universidad de New York como líderes estudiantiles, habiendo recién iniciado Dominicans  2000, un movimiento cívico del que emergieron líderes del calibre del Concejal de Nueva York Ydanis Rodríguez.”

“Únete a nosotros a dar la bienvenida en esta ocasión tan especial, a Julissa como oradora principal de la Conferencia que ella ayudo a forjar hace 15 años”, dijo Néstor Montilla, Sr. , Chair de la Conferencia. A Ferreras se sumaran decenas de estudiantes, participantes judíos, negros y latinos, así como dirigentes de varias organizaciones de defensa de derechos civiles, como the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, the Passaic County Civic League, y entre otros la Dominican American National Roundtable.”

Se anticipa una asistencia de aproximadamente 400 participantes de todo el estado de New Jersey y la zona tre-estatal.

La Concejal Ferreras pronunciará su discurso al mediodia, despues de los talleres sobre relaciones, Latino/Judeo/Black.

Para más información y RSVP, visite