District 21 - Council Member - Democrat
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Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

District 21 - Council Member - Democrat
Chair - Committee on Finance
Council Member Julissa Ferreras was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, as the representative for District 21 - Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights.

About Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland:

Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland represents the 21st Council District in Queens, serving the neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Jackson Heights.
With her election to the 21st Council District in 2009, Julissa became the first Latina elected to political office in Queens. 

After being re-elected for a second term in 2014, Julissa was appointed by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to the serve as the first woman and first person of color to Chair the City Council’s Committee on Finance. In this role, Julissa oversees the City’s $75.3 billion budget as well as the Department of Finance, Banking Commission, Tax Commission, Comptroller’s Office, Department of Design and Construction and Independent Budget Office. Julissa also has oversight authority on budget and tax-related legislation, fiscal policy and revenue, and certain programs and Services administered by other agencies, such as the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Small Business Services. As a lead member of the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team, Julissa works alongside Speaker Mark-Viverito to determine the Council's priorities, as it relates to restoring cuts and asking for funding in the Mayor's spending plan each year, and ensure each borough in the City receives equal representation.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Committee on Finance,f Julissa is a member of key Council Committees, including Committees on Public Safety, Economic Development, Standards and Ethics, Consumer Affairs, and Cultural Affairs. She is also the Co-Chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus and a member of the Policy and Program Working Group, the Women’s Caucus, and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.

Julissa was tapped early in her life as a natural community leader – by Helen Marshall, former Queens Borough President and the last woman of color to represent Queens in the City Council. Marshall appointed 14-year-old Julissa to serve on the Corona Youth Council, where she started a youth employment program. From there, she became president of the Corona-East Elmhurst NAACP Youth Council, a position she held for three years, and started her lifelong work of bridging the gaps among our communities.

She entered the workforce as Assistant Director of the Community Conciliation Network in Corona, and shortly thereafter became the Beacon Director at P.S. 19, the nation’s most overcrowded school. As Beacon Director, she gave hope to at-risk youth with mentoring, after-school programs and homework help – creating quality programs that served many children. Julissa’s involvement in the Beacon Program brought her to the forefront of many community issues.

When someone was needed to represent the community, it was Julissa who was called upon by Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette and Congressman Joseph Crowley to serve as a New York State delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. She then went on to become Chief of Staff for the Council Member of her home district. Upon taking a hiatus from this position, Julissa was selected as the acting New York Director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). To this day, Julissa still holds a seat on NALEO’s Board of Directors, joining more than three dozen of her fellow Latino elected and appointed officials throughout the country.
In continuing her service to the local community, Julissa has also served on the Board of Directors of Elmcor and the 82nd Street Business Improvement District.

A variety of organizations have benefitted from Julissa’s service and leadership. For her tireless efforts, Julissa has been honored by numerous community and civic organizations. Some of her most recent recognitions include: The 2014 Crain’s Rising Star 40 Under 40 Award; 62nd Annual Freedom Fund Political Service Award from the Corona East Elmhurst NAACP; The Business Leadership Award from the Statewide Association of Minority Businesses PAC; The 2011 Rising Star Award from the Queens Courier; City University of New York’s Educational Leadership Award in honor of her outstanding support and commitment to higher education and CUNY schools.

As the only child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Julissa is committed to the rights of all New Yorkers, with a particular emphasis on the growing immigrant community. A native New Yorker, Julissa grew up in Corona and currently resides in East Elmhurst.


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