“I’m a mother. I’m a renter. I’m a straphanger. I’m the daughter of immigrants. I’m a working woman. I’m Queens. I’m a real Democrat, and I will vote with my party.” - Jessica Ramos
Jessica Ramos has spent her life fighting for working families, advocating for labor, and organizing her local community. Born in Elmhurst to an undocumented seamstress and a printing pressman, Jessica was raised in Astoria, attended Queens public schools, and now lives in Jackson Heights with her two sons.
A strong union advocate, Ramos worked with Build Up NYC to fight for construction, building and hotel, and maintenance workers in New York City from 2014 to 2015. Ramos also worked with a local chapter of the Social Service Employees Union from 2008 to 2011 and a regional branch of the Service Employees International Union from 2011 to 2014, where she helped building maintenance workers, office cleaners and public schools cleaners win contracts that protected their rights, wages, and benefits.
As a community organizer and activist, Jessica joined Community Board 3 and served as Democratic District Leader in the 39th Assembly District from 2010 to 2014. Jessica sits on the boards of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Farmspot, Jackson Heights’ community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. She has received awards for her work on behalf of the community from the New Visions Democratic Club, Powhatan Democratic Club, and the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens—and she has been recognized by the Queens Women’s Chamber of Commerce for her advocacy on behalf of Women and Minority Owned Businesses.
As the first American-born in her family, Jessica felt a deep sense of responsibility in bridging the gap between immigrant and non-immigrant communities. Jessica’s mother crossed the Mexican border by herself at 24, and her father was arrested in a workplace immigration raid in the early 1980’s and spent days held in a detention center. Jessica’s first job was at a Jackson Heights immigration law firm where she first met construction workers hurt on the job—inspiring her commitment to workers’ rights, and racial and economic justice.
Even as a teenager, Jessica was outspoken against poverty and the internal displacement of Colombians. She was elected President of the NYC Colombian Liberal Youth Council in 2002 and subsequently elected President of the NYC Colombian Liberal Party in 2005.
Most recently, Jessica served as Director of Latino Media for the City of New York. As the city’s chief Latina spokesperson, Jessica helped keep our city’s 1.87 million Spanish-speaking residents, and the community and ethnic media at large, informed about government services and initiatives.
Jessica credits her love for activism and public service to her parents, Colombian immigrants who fought for and won the right to dual citizenship for Colombian-Americans and founded Siempre Colombia, a not-for-profit organization in Jackson Heights that sent aid to Colombians affected by the devastating earthquake in 1999.
Jessica does not have a driver’s license—she rides the subway every day.