By David Brand
District 39 Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, the immediate past president of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County, was sworn in to the legislature at a special ceremony at the New York Hall of Science in Corona on Jan. 27.
Cruz, a CUNY Law alum, is the first DREAMer elected to the state legislature. She grew up in the district she now represents.
“Throughout our campaign, we worked as a community,” Cruz said. “We wanted everyone to feel like their voice was more important than the voices of developers, corporations, and big donors. We knocked on doors, went to girl scouts meetings, visited mosques, met at coffee shops, and asked, ‘What is important to you and how can we work together to improve our community,’” Cruz said. “Over the next two years we will continue to work together just as we did during the campaign. We will prioritize driver’s licenses for all, protecting the environment, and fixing the criminal justice system. We will push to secure funding to protect our seniors, fully fund our children’s education, and finally fix the MTA.”
Judge Jenny Rivera, the first Puerto Rican Justice on the New York State Court of Appeals, administered the oath of office.
Councilmember Daniel Dromm served as the master of ceremonies.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Supreme Court Justice Carmen Velasquez provided remarks.