KeyWiki.org Page: http://keywiki.org/index.php/Nydia_Velazquez
Election Facts for 2014:
• Party – Democrat
• State – New York
• Location – New York 7
• First Elected – 1992
• Candidates in 2014:
Nydia Velazquez – D – Undeclared/Unknown
No Declared Opposition Listed
Nydia Margarita Velazquez is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 12th District of New York. She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a former Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Velazquez was born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico in 1953. At the age of 16, she entered the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1974 with a degree in Political Science. After earning a Master’s Degree on scholarship from NYU, Velazquez taught Puerto Rican studies at CUNY’s Hunter College in 1981.
In 1983, Velazquez was appointed Special Assistant to Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn). One year later, she became the first Latina to serve on the New York City Council. In 1992, Velazquez was elected to the House of Representatives to represent New York’s 12th District.
By 1986, Velázquez served as the Director of the Department of Puerto Rican Community Affairs in the United States.
In 2008, Nydia Velazquez served on candidate Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council.
Congresswoman Velazquez is a Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee. She is a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, which includes the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. She also serves on the following: the Democratic Caucus, the Women’s Issues Caucus, the Out of Iraq Caucus, the Congressional Caucus on the Census, the Congressional Children’s Caucus, the Congressional Jobs and Fair Trade Caucus, the Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus, the Older Americans’ Caucus and the Urban Caucus.
As campaign manager for Nydia Velazquez in 1992, Karen Ackerman ran a successful campaign against incumbent Steven Solarz for the newly created Congressional seat in the 12th District of New York. Moving to Washington, D.C. after the race, Ackerman served as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Velazquez until 1996.
Ackerman had once been active with the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) youth wing, the Young Workers Liberation League and in 1970, was a member of the second Venceremos Brigade to Cuba, where she cut sugar cane for Castro.
Praised Puerto Rican Communist
In her speech to the Rainbow Coalition Leadership Summit, February 19, 1993, Nydia Velazquez paid tribute to the late Jesus Colon, a garment worker, CPUSA member and author of: “A Puerto Rican in New York.”
Said Velasquez, “the plight of the America today, particularly the nation’s people of color, reminds me of the stories of Jesus Colon, a writer, who with piercing accuracy, poignantly chronicled the struggles of early Puerto Rican migrants in this country. Sixty years after the experiences of Colon, I would arrive in New York, and like him, would be shocked at the unbearable conditions of the people. I too would be subject to harsh and threatening words, merely for the olive tone of my skin, or the sound of my name. I too would feel the sting of discrimination.”
Article Re-Printed in the People’s World
A speech Velazquez gave to Rev. Jesse Jackson’s communist heavy Rainbow Coalition in February 1993, was re-printed with full credit in the CPUSA’s People’s Weekly World of March 6, 1993.
Asian Americans for Equality
Nydia Velazquez has long-term ties to Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), a powerful and very wealthy (thanks to U.S. taxpayers) Chinatown, New York based organization, founded by former members of the pro-Communist China and North Korean Communist Workers Party (CWP).
Freddie Mac Funding for AAFE
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez joined AAFE, June 2, 2003, to announce Freddie Mac’s $1.5 million grant to the newly created Lower Manhattan Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The fund supports the development and preservation of affordable housing in the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods most affected by the September 11th World Trade Center disaster.
“Rebuilding and revitalizing Lower Manhattan is one of my top priorities,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. “Increased home ownership has been shown to promote community development through increased neighborhood involvement and investment in local businesses. Freddie Mac’s generous contribution is an important step towards this goal and will help place more local residents on the road to home ownership.”
NeighborWorks America Event
On November 25, 2009, at a press conference in Chinatown, AAFE announced it has become a charter member of NeighborWorks America. A non-profit created by Congress. On hand to celebrate the occasion, were several elected officials including Rep. Nydia Velazquez, AAFE Executive Director Chris Kui and Margaret Chin, District 1’s new city council member, former AAFE President and one time CWP member.
Rep. Velazquez offered her congratulations to AAFE. “By joining forces with NeighborWorks, AAFE will have additional funding and support for their efforts to create equal opportunities for all New Yorkers. I am committed to working with AAFE to address the shortage of affordable housing, increase financial literacy and improve lending practices. With unemployment rising above 10 percent and families struggling to make ends meet, this help is needed in New York City now more than ever.”
Asian Americans for Equality, 38th Anniversary
Dignitaries including U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, New York City; Comptroller John Liu; and City Council member Margaret Chin came to Chinatown, March 2012, to help Asian Americans for Equality celebrate its 38th anniversary. A fundraiser for more than one-thousand supporters was held at the Jing Fong restaurant on Elizabeth Street.
AAFE honored San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a former pro-China student radical who was elected November 2011, as that city’s first Asian-American mayor.
Velazquez has been a past recipient of the annual AAFE award, in her own right.
New York Mayor and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member David Dinkins was an early supporter of Nydia Velazquez’s political career.
In 1992, New York DSA endorsed Nydia Velazquez during her successful run for Congress.
In July 1996, the DSA Political Action Committee endorsed Nydia Velazquez, New York 12th District, in that year’s Congressional elections.
New York DSA Awards Dinner
On June 24, 1993, New York City DSA held its annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington Awards Dinner. Local 1199 President Dennis Rivera and DSA member Deborah Meier of the Central Park East Secondary School received awards. Featured speakers included New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, Manhattan Borough President; DSA member Ruth Messinger and DSA Honorary Chair Cornel West. U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who was unable to attend because of Congressional commitments, sent greetings.
Working Families Party Co-Chair
In 1998, Co-Chairs of the Democratic Socialists of America initiated Working Families Party included DSA member and former New York Mayor David Dinkins and Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez.
Supported Puerto Rican Rebel Prisoners
In 1999, eleven imprisoned Puerto Rican Marxist independence fighters were released on parole from long prison terms in the U.S.
The clemency offers came after a long campaign that saw 75,000 people sign a petition in Puerto Rico and the U.S. The campaign, led by the Pro-Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico, involved such activists as Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Dr. Aaron Tolen, President of the World Council of Churches.
Political leaders who supported the prisoners included Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and two DSA members, Ron Dellums (D-CA) and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.
Foreign Policy/National Security
United for Peace and Justice
Nydia Velazquez was listed as an endorser of the January 27, 2007, “Act Now to End the War” event, organized by Institute for Policy Studies partner organization, United for Peace & Justice. Also endorsing the event was Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Party USA, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy & Socialism, National Lawyers Guild, National Organization for Women and the Communist Party USA. At the event, peace activists “converge[d] from all around the country in Washington, D.C. to send a strong, clear message to Congress and the Bush Administration: ‘The people of this country want the war and occupation in Iraq to end and we want the troops brought home now!’”
WIDF Affiliated United States “Regional Workshops”
Circa 2007, Nydia Velazquez – “Congressista,” was a member of the United States “Regional Workshop” of the former Soviet front Women’s International Democratic Federation.
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