Virginia Perez was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States with her family as a young girl. She attended Yonkers public schools and graduated from Saunders Trade and Technical High School. Wanting to stay close to her family she decided to attend Monroe Community College where she acquired degrees in Hospitality and Business Management. During college she was awarded an internship at the prestigious Plaza Hotel and the hotel hired her immediately upon graduating.
Her career in the hospitality industry afforded her opportunities to travel and Virginia’s fascination with foreign cultures and languages has taken her from Istanbul to Morocco to Lima to Madrid.
In late 2007 when Hurricane Noel ravaged the Dominican Republic, Virginia mobilized the Southwest Yonkers community. Using her parent’s living room as headquarters she collected ten large cargo containers of food, water, clothing, shoes, medicine, toys and more. She followed through with shipping them and saw that they were distributed successfully to families in dire need on the island.
Virginia purchased her first home at the age of twenty five and continues to encourage friends and family to do the same as a stabilizing influence in the community. Even before her brother Martin’s tragic death she was a vocal advocate for a collective focus on the neighborhood’s crime problem which discouraged investment in property and perpetuated a cycle of absentee ownership.
When her brother was murdered she first sought to organize a neighborhood watch program entitled Help put Yonkers on the MAP (Martin Antonio Perez). She learned quickly that without strong enforceable laws to deter gang violence the most vigilant citizens were virtually powerless against crime. She began to lobby the State Senate to pass legislation she named Martin’s Law. It requires landlords, property owners and management companies to take more responsibility for the safety of their tenants and the general public. Frustrated with the slow pace of the political process, she decided she needed to run for office herself to give testimony to the devastating effect of senseless violent crime on a family and a community. Virginia believes she can be the best advocate for her community to ensure that the conditions which breed such mindless violence are addressed.
Virginia Perez is a fine example of a young citizen with a blossoming career in private industry who feels called to public service for all the right reasons. She has an abiding love for her community and wants to elevate not only her neighbors’ standard of living but more so their expectations of what they can hope to achieve in life through hard work and education. It’s Virginia’s goal to educate her people on the value of becoming organized as a community and on the benefit of holding elected officials accountable for their behavior.