Meet Debbie

IMG_8347.jpgDebbie Medina is a candidate for State Senate in the 18th District.

Debbie’s roots in the district run deep. Born in the Southside of Williamsburg to Puerto Rican parents, she attended IS 318 and Eli Whitney High School. She developed a deep passion for her community, and a deep anger at the ills of racism, poverty, and the brutal capitalist system that had created them.

Since 1987, Debbie has worked as a community organizer at Los Sures/Southside United, and as lead organizer since 1997. Under her leadership, Los Sures has been a powerful voice for our community. As our neighborhoods have become increasingly valuable and targeted by developers, Debbie has worked tirelessly to ensure that there would always be a place for the people who grew up here, raised families here, and made our neighborhoods the vibrant and diverse places they are today.

Debbie has brought together countless tenants in the community, building tenant associations and winning critical victories against greedy landlords. She has organized dozens of buildings to launch rent strikes, obtaining repairs and rent reductions. Through this work, she has built tenant power and preserved thousands of units of affordable housing.

As a proud Puerto Rican woman, Debbie has fought back against discrimination and racism, helping to win major reforms in our NYCHA buildings. She has worked to defend our schools and daycares from underfunding and neglect. She has build coalitions and alliances between parents, workers, tenants, and small businesses, to defend our community from those that would turn it into something unaffordable and unrecognizable.

Again and again, Debbie has proven that the best way to build power is to organize, to take leadership in our communities and to teach others to do the same. She believes that when we are united with a common goal, we have the power to build a community that works for all of us--not just the wealthy and the powerful. She is a worker, a doer, an organizer and a fighter, and is part of a broad nationwide movement to take power from the wealthiest and put it back where it belongs: in our communities.

Debbie lives with her husband in the Southside of Williamsburg, as she has for her entire life.