Nydia Velazquez

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Nydia Velazquez
Nydia Velazquez.jpg
U.S. House, New York, District 12
In office
January 3, 1993-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2013
Years in position 22
Base salary$174,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 3, 1992
Next generalNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Master'sNew York University
Date of birthMarch 28, 1953
Place of birthYabucoa, Puerto Rico
ProfessionCollege Professor
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Nydia Margarita Velázquez (b. March 28, 1953) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York. Velazquez was elected by voters from New York's 12th congressional district. Due to 2012 redistricting, Velazquez is running in New York's 7th congressional district in 2012.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Velazquez is a "moderate Democratic follower".[1]


Velazquez was born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She earned a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and a M.A. from New York University.[2]


After earning a master’s degree on scholarship from NYU, Velázquez taught Puerto Rican studies at CUNY’s Hunter College in 1981. In 1983, Velázquez was appointed Special Assistant to Congressman Edolphus Towns. One year later, she became the first Latina appointed to serve on the New York City Council. She was the director of the Migration Division Office, Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources from 1986-1989, and from 1989-1992 was director of the Department of Puerto Rican Community Affairs in the United States for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.[3][4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Velázquez serves on the following committees:[5]


Campaign Themes

Velazquez lists some of her campaign themes on her website:[6]

  • "Empowering Small Business
  • Supporting Economic Growth
  • Increasing Affordable Housing
  • Bringing Our Troops Home
  • Helping Working Families
  • Fixing Our Immigration System."

Political positions

Specific Votes



See also: New York's 7th congressional district elections, 2012

Valazquez was re-elected.[7] Velazquez was running for re-election in 2012. Due to redistricting in New York, 12th district incumbent Velazquez ran in the 7th district, which includes most of her former territory, and adds some of the Lower East Side.[8] Velazquez faced three primary challengers: Dan O'Connor, George Martinez, and Erik Dilan. She won the Democratic primary.[9] She was unopposed in the Working Families primary on June 26th, 2012.

Dilan, a city councilman, was seen by some as the greatest challenge to Velazquez.[10] He was encouraged to run by Vito Lopez, chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and a member of the New York Assembly. Lopez wanted to see Velazquez defeated, as he said she has rudely slighted him.[11] In return, Velazquez commented, "I advocate for cleaner politics, and he appoints cronies as judges."[11]

Bringing up a common theme in New York politics, Dilan said Velazquez had "the worst voting record on Israel in the New York congressional delegation."[12] Velazquez, however, was endorsed by what one Democratic source called "the three top Jewish Democrats in the state": U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, and New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.[8] Velazquez was also endorsed by President Barack Obama.[10]

Dilan responded to questions of his fundraising sources -- a significant portion come from the real estate industry, which both Dilan and Lopez influence on the city and state level -- by responding that Velazquez received even more from banks.[13]


On November 2, 2010, Velazquez was re-elected to the United States House for a tenth term. She defeated Alice Gaffney (Conservative).[14]

United States House, New York General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNydia Velazquez Incumbent 79.1% 68,624
     Blank/Scattering 15.7% 13,647
     Conservative Alice Gaffney 5.2% 4,482
Total Votes 86,753

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Velazquez's campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Velazquez was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a tenth term. Her campaign committee raised a total of $838,912 and spent $690,875.[15]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Velazquez paid her congressional staff a total of $1,013,605 in 2011. Overall, New York ranks 28th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[16]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Velazquez's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-4,248,997 to $3,954,998, which is lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[17]

Percentage voting with party

November 2011

Nydia Velazquez voted with the Democratic Party 92.7% of the time, which ranked 104th among the 192 House Democratic members as of December 2011.[18]


External links


  1. Gov Track "Velazquez" Accessed May 23, 2012
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "VELÁZQUEZ, Nydia Margarita, (1953 - )"
  3. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Serving New York's 12th Congressional District - Brooklyn - Lower Manhattan - Queens "Biography"
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "VELÁZQUEZ, Nydia Margarita, (1953 - )"
  5. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Serving New York's 12th Congressional District - Brooklyn - Lower Manhattan - Queens "Committees and Caucus Memberships"
  6. Campaign website "Issues"
  7. Politico "2012 Election Map, New York"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jewish Press "Schumer, Silver, Nadler to Endorse Velázquez, Rebuffing Anti-Zionist Charges," June 3, 2012
  9. AP "2012 primary results"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Capital New York "Obama endorses Nydia Velazquez," June 15, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 New York Times "With Three Spirited Primaries, Competitive Democracy Is Breaking Out," June 18, 2012
  12. ["http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2012/05/dilan-bashes-velazquez-on-israel-she-bashes-back New York Daily News "Dilan Bashes Velazquez On Israel; She Bashes Back," May 30, 2012]
  13. Capital New York "The congressional challenger from New York real estate," June 18, 2012
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  15. Open Secrets "Nydia M. Velazquez 2010 Election Data," Accessed December 16, 2011
  16. LegiStorm, "Nydia Velazquez," Accessed October 2, 2012
  17. OpenSecrets.org, "Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), 2010," Accessed October 2, 2012
  18. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Major Owens
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 12
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New York City Council
Succeeded by