Yudelka Tapia knows that Dominican immigrants in the Bronx often face a hard transition due to language and cultural barriers. They have a champion in that struggle, 86th Assembly District Leader Ms. Tapia, who has fought to empower the Bronx’s Dominican community for the last 25 years.
Born in Santo Domingo, Ms. Tapia comes from a family of activists. While attending O&M University, she organized groups to prevent domestic violence, to promote education, and to combat political corruption. In college, she was President of the Union Domocratica de Mujeres, a national organization that organized and educated women. Growing up as an immigrant with language and cultural barriers, Ms. Tapia knew from the beginning that she wanted to dedicate her life to advancing the plight of her people.
Ms. Tapia says that the issues surrounding people of the Bronx were similar to those in her native homeland. “Not only did we have issues of corruption, education, and violence, but we also want better housing and more political representation.” In 1994, Ms. Tapia founded the first Dominican-based political club in the Bronx, the Great Alliance Democratic Club.
Ms. Tapia’s concerns for quality children’s education and the disparities of resources for minority communities led her to run for School Board District 10 in the Bronx in 1999. In 2001, she continued to fi ght for empowerment by running for City Council, District 14. It was her belief, and still is, that every community should be represented and advocated for by their leaders. She was elected as State Committee Woman for the 86th Assembly District, and later was elected District Leader. In 2011, she became a panelist for the Dominican-American National Roundtable, helping to push the campaigns to get more Hispanic judges to the court system and a Dominican in Congress.
Ms. Tapia continues working closely with elected officials and the political leadership of the Bronx to bring solutions to the problems facing her community.