Christopher Marte was born and raised in the Lower East Side, where his dad owned a bodega. When he wasn’t stacking cans, he attended local public schools and after-school programs.
Eventually, his dad’s store had to close because of rent hikes, and Christopher started to see the community he loved get torn apart by luxury development and corrupt politicians. He decided to take action.
Christopher co-founded two community gardens in NYCHA while the state refused to fund their repairs. He volunteered at the Bowery Mission as he saw more and more affordable apartments get converted into luxury condos. It was through doing this work that he learned so many of our problems came from the same source. We had elected officials who lined their pockets with real estate money and who prioritized political gain over people. So he decided to run for City Council in 2017.
Though he fell short by 200 votes, Christopher’s campaign united people across the district. He was able to bring together neighbors who lived only a quarter mile away from each other, but had never had a reason to work together before. His campaign created a culture of unity because he ran on a platform of change.
Professionally, Christopher started his career managing IBM’s retirement funds while paying off his student loans. As he continued to work in finance, he served on the Young Professionals Board of Defy Ventures — where he guided formerly incarcerated people through the process of starting their own small businesses. Christopher went on to work as a legal researcher at an immigration law firm, before learning about local politics and eventually running for City Council. After the election, he served as the New York State Director at Arena, using his experience running for office to train a new generation of candidates and campaign staffers.