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YUDELKA’S STORY

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Yudelka Tapia has worked for the community for more than 25 years.  She started in her native Dominican Republic.  There she was the President of the ‘Union Dominicana de Mujeres’, a national organization that organized and educated women, while attending O&M University.  She was deeply involved with community issues, especially those relating to justice and equality in government.  Yudelka came to the United States, 21 years ago while pregnant with her second child.  She quickly became a street activist helping to fight the many injustices facing the poor and immigrant communities that she was a part of.
 
In 1984 Yudelka obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from O&M University in the Dominican Republic.   In New York she attended Bronx Community College where she studied Computer Science. 
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Over the years she has completed many courses, training and conferences. In the early 1990’s, Yudelka helped community members from her apartment.  While caring for her young sons, she helped locals with translations, immigration issues and writing letters to elected officials on behalf of the people she was working for. 

In 1994 she founded the Great Alliance Democratic Club, the first Dominican based political club in the Bronx, within the Democratic Party.  With this club, Yudelka organized the Dominican community and promoted unity among all Latino communities in the Bronx. 

In 1997, the Great Alliance Democratic Club held a historic assembly meeting with club members in which every elected official in the Bronx was present.  In 1997, the Great Alliance Democratic Club was also a crucial force in the election of Adolfo Carrion to City Council.  Yudelka Tapia has worked to help elect many of our elected officials, including:  Councilmember Guillermo Linares, Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, Senator Efrain Gonzalez, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Jose Rivera, Councilmember Miguel Martinez, Councilmember Maria Baez, among others.  She also founded the Center for the Development and Protection of Dominicans. 

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Ms. Tapia has been an advocate in favor of rent control, immigration amnesty for Latinos and against domestic violence.  In 1996, Yudelka was part of the committee that organized the “RECORDAR PARA CAMBIAR!  TINGO” event against domestic violence.  She has participated in citywide, statewide and national demonstrations in Albany, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City.

 Ms. Tapia has organized the community at large, participating as an advisor for different groups in our community, such as small businesses, Livery taxi drivers, women, youngsters, and children.  Yudelka played an integral role in forming the NYS Livery Taxi & Bases Owners Federation.Yudelka Tapia has fought for good education for our children.  Her four sons attended NYC public schools. Ms. Tapia served as President of the Parent Teacher Association of Theodore Roosevelt High School from 1998-2000 and a member of the School Leadership Team, which during that time determined school budgets.  She also served on the School Leadership Team of MS 118 and PS 15, always bringing the concerns of parents and the welfare of children to the forefront.

Because of her concern for the quality of education for children and the disparities of resources for minority communities, Yudelka Tapia ran for School Board District 10 in the Bronx in 1999.  At that time, this was the worst rated school district in the state.

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             In 2001, Ms. Tapia continued to fight for her vision of empowerment by running for City Council, District 14, the seat vacated by Adolfo Carrion.  At the time, she confronted the political establishment in the Bronx in favor of truly representing her community.  It was her belief, and still is, that every community should be represented and advocated for by their leaders.            
By 2002, Yudelka Tapia was a member of the National Voting Rights Commission.  As a result of the 2000 Census, many district borders were redrawn, and this resulted in the creation of the Assembly District 86.  55.6% of the residents in this district were born in the Dominican Republic, with many more second-generation Dominican-Americans.  Because of this Yudelka decided to run the Assembly seat.  She spearheaded a grassroots movement that hadn’t been seen in the Bronx.  She was endorsed by the New York Times, DC 37, and dozens of community organizations.  The Bronx Democratic County Committee, however, decided not to support the only Dominican candidate in the race.In 2002, shortly after the elections, Yudelka’s son was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which required much attention, and after four years, resulted in a kidney transplant from her sister.  Because of this, Ms. Tapia became an advocate for her son and for the 7,000 patients in New York waiting for a kidney.  She promotes organ donation and participates as a committee member for the Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, Inc. (KUFA).
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In April, 2008, she went to Albany to lobby for organ donation with the New York Organ Donor Network.She has been on the board of directors of several community organizations, such as: Young Adults Against Drugs and Alcohol (YAADA), Center of Alternative Communication, Dominican Federation of Women, etc. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO- DC37, Local 1407.  In 2002 she was elected as State Committee Member for Assembly District 86
th, a position for which she has been reelected three times. 
She is an advocate of healthy bodies and minds for our children.  She works very closely with little league baseball organizations, including Caribe Little League & Rolando Paulino Little League, making sure they get the resources needed to keep our children off the street and in a healthy environment. 
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Her work has been recognized by Adolfo Carrion, Bronx Borough President, by the New York State Assembly-Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force, by former Speaker of the City Council, Peter Vallone, by former Bronx Borough President, Fernando Ferrer, by the Bronx Democratic Party and by many other community organizations. In 1998 and 2001 Yudelka was named Godmother of the Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan and in the Bronx.

Ms. Tapia continues working closely with elected officials and the political leadership of the Bronx, to bring solutions to the problems facing our community. She works as a Senior Auditor for the City of New York. Today, Ms. Tapia is running for an open seat on the City Council. Her life long experiences and advocacy have led her to once again fight for her community. 005 (2)