MY NAME IS SHAELEIGH SEVERINO
My parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic in the 1980s. My father works three jobs as a security guard, sanitation worker, and flagger at the airport, and my mother works as a security guard and community organizer. My mother has served her community for over 10 years as a progressive political organizer. Exposed to the power of grassroots activism at a young age, I’ve committed my life to fight for the rights of Black, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Raised in a working-class family, I’ve seen the devastating effects of segregation, declining education quality, cultural division, food insecurity, and extreme flooding in District 32. I understand the struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table every night. I’m running to end the inaccessible game of politics favoring corporate interests over everyday New Yorkers. I’m running to advocate for everyone in my community who has gone unheard for far too long.
Through my advocacy as a paralegal for nearly four years, I’ve been honored to assist members of my New York City community through some of the most important aspects of educating, providing assistance, and awareness. Legal advice is crucial for an immigrant population especially through the language barrier and lack of accessibility. As a daughter of two immigrants, my commitment to helping this community has always been unwavering.
As a student, I understand the struggles young people face in today’s social and economic climate. We must meet education disparities and segregation, crumbling infrastructure, rising tuition, and a growing digital divide with systemic reform to ensure equal access to opportunity.
If elected, I will make history as the first woman and LGBTQIA+ individual to represent District 32, the first Afro-Latinx woman with a disability in the New York City Council, and the youngest elected official to ever serve in the New York City Council. In addition to ushering generational change and diversity, our historic campaign revolutionizes how we treat and fund education, climate change initiatives, public safety, and social services.
As the only Black-Latina, 21-year-old progressive running in one of three Republican seats in the New York City Council, I aim to continue and spark the dialogue of civic engagement and social issues to communities that have remained voiceless. Queens, District 32 needs a representative unafraid to implement bold, innovative, and progressive reforms to combat the multitude of concurrent crises New Yorkers are facing. I will act as a people-powered candidate dedicated to serving our city’s underserved and under-represented.
This is not my campaign — it is our campaign. We need you in this fight to build a better district and effect change for our community. Our historic campaign reimagines how we fund and treat education, public safety, and social services. I will work diligently to ensure everyone, no matter their income, race, or immigration status, can put food on the table, access to affordable housing, and exist without fear of racial profiling. With my leadership, advocacy, and grassroots organizing experience, I know together, we can bring District 32 the change it needs.