Latino Victory Fund Endorses Historic ‘First Latina’ Candidates Elisa Crespo and Mino Lora in New York City Council Special Elections

If elected, Crespo would be the first transgender council member elected in New York and the first Latina to represent District 15. Lora would be the first Latina elected in District 11. 

Washington, D.C.– Latino Victory Fund announced the endorsement of New York City Council special election race candidates Elisa Crespo, District 15, and Mino Lora, District 11. If elected, Lora would be the first Latina to represent District 11, and Crespo would be the first Latina elected to represent District 15 and the first openly transgender lawmaker elected in the state of New York. 

The New York City Council special election will occur on Tuesday, March 23, with early voting starting on Saturday, March 13. 

Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund President & CEO Quote on Elisa Crespo: 

“Elisa has spent years working to improve the living conditions in her community and to ensure that her district’s future generations have the same opportunities she had to grow and thrive. Her life story is the story of many of her district’s families–she was raised by a single mother and relied on the same public services that she seeks to improve. The New York City Council needs Elisa’s voice because she will advocate for those who need it most. She’ll continue her career-long social justice work by advocating for living wages and fair housing, combating climate change, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. Latino Victory is beyond thrilled to support Elisa’s candidacy–we need more leaders like her at the helm.” 

Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund President & CEO Quote on Mino Lora: 

“Mino’s a true champion of her community who has dedicated her life and career to improving the lives of others. She has the commitment and passion for social justice necessary for a leader to effect true, meaningful change. As a city council member, she’ll bring a bold vision and advocacy experience to enact policies that will improve her constituents’ economy, healthcare, and quality of life. Mino will fight to provide Covid-19 relief, health care equity, education access, immigrant rights, and cultural justice for communities of color. Latino Victory is proud to support Mino’s candidacy, and we look forward to seeing her become a voice for change in District 11.” 

Meet the Candidates  

Elisa Crespo

Elisa Crespo is running to make history as the first openly transgender lawmaker elected in the state of New York and the first Latina elected to represent District 15.  This is Crespo’s first time running for public office. 

She was raised by a hard-working, single Latina mother who relied on Section 8 to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. From public schools to public housing, Crespo has experienced the social disparities in New York City firsthand. Crespo is an advocate and activist and has fought unapologetically to preserve the affordability and accessibility of New York City’s public higher education system, promote civic engagement and voter awareness, represent union labor, and elevate the LGBTQIA community. Because of her family’s struggle, Crespo developed a passion for community organizing and has fought to address the most vulnerable and underserved communities’ needs. In her current capacity as an Education Liaison to the Bronx Borough President, Crespo advocates on behalf of parents whose children have been victims of bullying, along with those who have been deprived of vital special education services. Crespo is a proud union member of DC37 – Local 371. For more information on Elisa Crespo, click here

Mino Lora 

Maria del Camino Lora, also known as Mino, is running to become the first Latina to represent New York City Council District 11. Lora is an artist, educator, activist, immigrant, and founder of a local theatre, the People’s Theatre Project (PTP). Lora was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She moved to the U.S. at 19 after receiving an academic scholarship to attend Manhattanville College, where she earned a B.A. in English Literature and Theatre. She later earned an M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation from the Graduate Institute and founded the People’s Theatre Project as part of her thesis. 

During the 2008 recession, Lora took all the money she had saved from waiting tables — $400 — to found the PTP, which in addition to being a theatre, is also a social justice nonprofit that employs a staff of 30 and serves 1,000 young people annually with a current operating budget of $1 million. The organization has partnered with over 20 schools through the Department of Education’s Multilingual Learners Department, with the Manhattan DA’s Office to educate senior citizens on fraud against aging immigrants and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to bring teens to speak up at City Hall. 

Lora is the Executive Director of PTP and, through partnerships, has helped the theater become a community centerpiece. Additionally, Lora serves on the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC) and Northern Manhattan Agenda leadership councils. She regularly meets with local, state, and federal officials to advocate for immigrant rights and equity in education. For more information on Mino Lora, click here

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The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive political action committee with the mission of growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government – from the school board to the Senate to the White House.

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