Astoria councilwoman makes history as first queer Latina to serve District 22

Tiffany Cabán was sworn in to represent District 22 in the New York City Council on Dec. 1. (Photo credit: Corey Torpie)

Tiffany Cabán was sworn in Wednesday, Dec. 1, as the first Latina and queer woman to serve as the City Council member for District 22. 

Cabán didn’t spare any time after her swearing-in ceremony and signed on to co-sponsor 20 pieces of legislation. The bills cover a variety of issues, including non-citizen voting rights, banning solitary confinement and paid sick leave, among others. 

“As Council member, I am committed to advancing policy that will save lives and investing in the services, supports and systems that will ensure every New Yorker’s right to a healthy and safe community,” Cabán said. 

Cabán took 63% of the votes in the general election. She beat Republican candidate Felicia Kalan, who took 31.2% of the votes, and Green Party candidate Edwin DeJesus, who had 5.9% of the votes. 

District 22 — encompassing Astoria, Rikers Island and parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside and East Elmhurst — was previously represented by term-limited Costa Constantinides, who resigned almost nine months ago to take on the role of CEO of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens.

Tiffany Cabán was sworn in to represent District 22 in the New York City Council on Dec. 1. (Photo credit: Corey Torpie)

Cabán easily took the race with her significant name recognition and high-profile endorsements from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders. Then-candidate Cabán ran a progressive campaign on ideas like ending the carceral system, establishing a care economy and implementing a Green New Deal for New York City. 

The councilwoman previously served as a public defender and ran for Queens district attorney in 2019, narrowly losing to Melinda Katz. She also joined the Working Families Party as a political organizer to help elect progressive prosecutors across the country. 

“I look forward to working in partnership with my current and future colleagues, other partners in government and community advocates to dismantle existing inequitable systems of harm and make sure that every neighborhood has the resources it needs to truly thrive,” Cabán said. “This is a time to reimagine our city. A time to transform our reality. A time to take a people-centered approach to ending the devastation of the pandemic and rethinking public health. And I’m ready to get to work.”

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