About Former Senator Adriano Espaillat
State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s career in public service has been marked by historic accomplishments and an unwavering commitment to integrity, justice, and equal representation for all.
Following a successful tenure in the New York State Assembly, Espaillat was elected to the Senate in November 2010, where he represents the 31st district. This uniquely diverse and dynamic district stretches from Manhattan’s Upper West Side through Washington Heights and includes Riverdale, Marble Hill, and Hamilton Heights.
A trailblazing community activist, Senator Espaillat made history in 1996 when he became the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature. Espaillat quickly distinguished himself as a reformer and progressive fighter who stood up for working families and small businesses.
Espaillat worked tirelessly to champion causes that directly helped communities across New York. Along the way he executed some remarkable legislative and policy accomplishments including the following highlights:
- Successful advocacy on behalf of over 2.5 million NYC tenants during the campaign to extend and strengthen rent regulations.
- Passage of law cracking down on the sale of dangerous alcoholic beverages to minors.
- Extension of the J-51 Housing Program, which protected tenant from unfair rent hikes.
- Passage of legislation supporting over 40,000 livery drivers by extending protections from violent crimes and inclusion of the drivers in the Workers’ Compensation benefits program.
- Legislation allowing 35,000 daycare providers to organize and collectively bargain, helping empower some of New York’s hardest working men and women and strengthening our middle-class.
Senator Espaillat was chosen by his colleagues to chair the Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus. He is the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Housing Committee and also serves on the Environmental Conservation, Economic Development, Codes, Insurance, and Judiciary committees. Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo has selected Senator Espaillat as a member of his Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise team where Senator Espaillat chairs the subcommittee on monitoring and compliance.
Prior to catapulting into the state capitol, Espaillat served his community on a grass-roots level.
From 1994 to 1996, Espaillat served as the Director of Project Right Start, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to combat substance abuse by educating the parents of pre-school children. This pilot program was implemented in six cities throughout the country and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
From 1992 to 1994, Espaillat served as Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office. The organization offered bilingual support groups for battered women, and provided relief, compensation, counseling and therapeutic services to families of victims of homicides and other crimes. In 1991, Espaillat was chosen as a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Dominican American Advisory Board, where he served for two years.
From 1986 to 1991, Espaillat actively served on Community Planning Board 12 as a member of the Executive Board. Espaillat became a strong voice in the community by organizing tenants and advocating for their rights. He successfully petitioned for greater police services in the community. His tireless efforts resulted in increased foot patrol, block watches, the creation of the new 33rd Police Precinct and other successful crime prevention measures in Northern Manhattan. During the mid 1980’s, Espaillat was elected President of the 34th Precinct Community Council. Throughout the 80’s, he worked closely with the community and law enforcement agencies to help eradicate drugs and crime from Washington Heights and Inwood.
In 1980, Espaillat joined the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, a non-profit agency contracted by the city of New York to provide pre-trial services to the New York Criminal Court system, where he worked as the Manhattan Court Services Coordinator
for eight years. During the 1990’s, Espaillat helped resolve hundreds of conflicts among his constituents by volunteering his services as a state certified conflict resolution mediator for the Washington Heights Inwood Conflict Resolutions and Mediation Center.
Espaillat graduated from Bishop Dubois High School in 1974. In 1978, he earned his B.S. degree in Political Science from Queens College, and later completed postgraduate courses in Public Administration at New York University and the Rutgers University Leadership for Urban Executives Institute.
Last edited by Senator Adriano Espaillat's staff prior to last day in office.