Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the nation in June with her upset over Joe Crowley, pundits have been searching for the “next Ocasio-Cortez.” Some think they’ve found her: Julia Salazar could do to New York State politics what her friend and fellow Democratic Socialist did to the New York 14th Congressional District.
But Ocasio-Cortez herself has rejected the claim – not because she is not a huge Salazar supporter (she is), but rather because she thinks so highly of her. When the New York Daily News applied the label she tweeted back, “[Julia Salazar] isn’t the next me, she’s the first HER.”
The two 28-year-olds do have a lot in common, however. Like Ocasio-Cortez, Salazar is hoping to unseat a member of the New York Democratic establishment with an insurgent primary challenge. Her opponent is Martin Dilan, who has represented Brooklyn’s 16th State Senate district for the last fifteen years. Also, like Ocasio-Cortez, Salazar similarly refuses any corporate sponsorship of her campaign. Instead, her operation is funded by small-scale donors.
Salazar and Ocasio-Cortez share another common trait – they both lost their fathers before the age of 20. Salazar’s father was of Jewish faith and an immigrant from Colombia. The family relocated to south Florida as her mother, a US citizen herself, wanted her children raised as American citizens.
The young Salazar began working at the age of 14, first as a barista and then cleaning houses. Later, while studying at Columbia University, she would work 30-hour weeks as a nanny on the Upper West Side to pay rent on her Harlem apartment. When the landlord refused to see to basic services like heating in the winter, the building’s residents took the owner to housing court and won the case. The experience proved to be invaluable to Salazar, mirroring many of the systemic problems present in the state Senate.
As part of her current campaign, Salazar is campaigning for affordable housing, women’s reproductive rights, universal healthcare and criminal justice reform. Another one of her passions? Revolutionizing the city’s energy infrastructure by coating rooftops with a reflective paint able to reduce indoor temperatures by 30%.
Come the Democratic primary on September 13th, we will learn if Salazar’s journey from activist to State Senator has been successful. Whatever the outcome, though, she has certainly made the journey in style.
Democratic Socialists Unite
Salazar had the honor of introducing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a canvassing event in New York. And what a stylish duo they make, both styled in neutral shades of black and beige. Salazar is sleek and sophisticated in a soft beige sweater worn over a black form-fitting pencil skirt along with black opaque tights and court shoes.
Colorful for the cause
As a former victim of landlord abuse, Salazar knows the importance of fair and affordable housing. Here she is meeting with Bushwick residents on the rights of tenants and rent laws within the area. Her outfit for the event stayed true to her elegant, conservative style in a high-waisted black pencil skirt spruced up with a multi-coloured blouse.
A vision in white
Salazar is effortlessly elegant in a simple white sheath dress on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. The lacy white fabric is brilliantly contrasted against the grey and grunge of the city.
Salazar is an ardent supporter of upholding New York’s status as a sanctuary city and welcomed Immigration Committee Chairman Carlos Menchaca to her campaign’s headquarters in Brooklyn. She is prim and professional alongside the city councilman in her signature black pencil skirt paired with a soft white blouse.
Julia Salazar: community chic
Today was no ordinary Saturday in Williamsburg: It was the annual Lindsay Park Oldtimers Day! pic.twitter.com/CgIeEYdzch
— Julia Salazar for State Senate (@SalazarSenate18) August 4, 2018
Charity begins at home! Salazar spent a Saturday morning in the Williamsburg area mingling with the community at the annual Lindsay Park Oldtimers Day. Her outfit included a pop of bright color with a bright red blouse worn with her black pencil skirt and black ankle booties.