Pierina Sanchez represents the 14th Council District, which includes the resilient neighborhoods of Kingsbridge, Fordham, University Heights, Mount Eden and Mount Hope. Pierina is an Afro-Dominicana, daughter of immigrants, and born and raised in the Bronx, where her family strove to make a life for her and her brothers. She learned the value of hard work early – watching her elders sell oranges, drive taxis, clean buildings and schools – to ensure she and her generation had a chance at higher education and opportunity.
Pierina is a proud alumna of Bronx public schools P.S. 46 and M.S. 45, and the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula. She values public youth programs because the Bronx Community College Upward Bound program helped her excel. She went on to graduate from Harvard University on a full scholarship, and earn a Master in Public Affairs degree from Princeton University.
From the community board to the White House, and from work in advocacy organizations to the mayor’s office – Pierina has been a fighter for immigrant families, racial justice, affordable housing, good jobs and meaningful investments in our children, families and seniors.
Pierina began her career in public service in the summer of 2007, and it propelled her into a career in public policy and urban planning. She advocated to expand early education programs at Agenda for Children Tomorrow, and helped immigrant families stabilize their status in the US. Immediately after graduating college, Pierina came back home to work in Council District 14 office, supporting thousands of her neighbors with their concerns, including organizing buildings to fight landlords for repairs. She helped to secure millions of dollars in City funding for nonprofits and schools in the community, including the funds to construct the Harrison Circle location of the Morris Heights Health Center.
Pierina served in the Obama White House and after her master’s program, as an urban planner at Regional Plan Association. At RPA, Pierina was committed to the mission that any plan for the New York region must be built on a foundation of equity and social justice. She partnered with frontline community organizations to include thousands of low- to moderate- income voices from immigrants and communities of color and shape the critical planning process. During this time, Pierina was also a member of Bronx Community Board 5, where she fought for deep affordable housing and meaningful investments during the Jerome rezoning process, and later cofounded the Jerome Avenue Revitalization Collaborative.
Most recently, Pierina was an advisor in the mayor’s office, where she advocated for progressive housing, economic development and land use policies, and resources for NYCHA. When COVID-19 struck, Pierina’s work pivoted to the City’s response and she focused on bridging gaps in service to the hardest hit low-income and communities of color. Alongside colleagues, she pushed to add testing sites, distribute protective equipment, and ensure the meal delivery system was reaching every New Yorker in need. Pierina also developed an action plan to protect our neighbors in NYCHA. After the mayor’s office, Pierina was a Senior Fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development and worked within Bronx mutual aid networks to distribute thousands of meals within the community.
When she is not serving the public, Pierina enjoys practicing Taekwondo and dancing salsa!