A proven leader with a track record of advancing progressive policies in Albany
Catalina Cruz represents New York’s 39th Assembly District (Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights). She co-sponsored more than 530 bills, and introduced key legislation seeking to address imperative policy changes, such as the criminalization of wage theft, improving the conditions of nail salon workers across New York State, and expanded sexual harassment protections for employees. She has led the charge on many historic pieces of legislation, now codified into law, including the Child Victims Act, the Dream Act, rent law reforms, and the Green Light Bill, which provides Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented New Yorkers.
Catalina was born in Colombia and came to Queens at the age of 9 and grew up as a DREAMer where she lived undocumented in the United States for more than 10 years. She was raised by a single mother, who like many immigrants had to work multiple and menial jobs to provide for her family. As a single mother of four children, her mother worked long hours during the week as a nanny, cleaned offices at night, and sold tamales and empanadas at the soccer fields on the weekends. Inspired by her mother’s perseverance, Catalina has committed her career to fighting for our community to ensure our workers, neighbors and families not only survive, but thrive.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a JD from the City University of New York School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and has worked as an attorney and a leader for tenant protections, immigration reform and workers’ rights with experience working both in nonprofits and government.