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 this time she was awarded an internship at the prestigious Plaza Hotel where she was offered a position immediately. Her career in the hospitality industry afforded her plenty of opportunities to travel which lead to her fascination with foreign cultures and languages. She has had the pleasure of visiting places such as Istanbul, Morocco, Lima, Egypt and Madrid, to name a few.
While Virginia has an immense desire to view and learn about the world, her native country has always had a special place in her heart. In 2007, Hurricane Noel ravaged the Dominican Republic and with her enthusiasm, efforts and drive, Virginia was able to mobilize southwest Yonkers to help those affected by this natural disaster. 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 helped many Dominicans overcome this tragedy but nothing could have prepared her for what came after. In December 2007 Virginia’s brother Martin was murdered during a robbery, causing the Perez family immeasurable heartache and devastation. As a result, Virginia has worked tirelessly with community organizations, the Yonkers Police Department, the Fire Fighters Department and other entities, to raise awareness against crime and violence. She fought for safer streets and a safer community so that no other family would experience what she felt with the loss of her brother. Striving to cause more social change on the platform of public safety, in 2011 Virginia was elected as the Westchester County Legislator for the 17th District.
Virginia Perez was the first Latina to be elected to serve on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee, she was part of a bipartisan coalition in 2012 to pass the very controversial County Budget, all while maintaining a personal connection to her constituents. After working with colleagues from both sides to pass a bipartisan budget, Virginia was a key figure in establishing a bipartisan coalition leadership team at the Board of Legislators. In her second term Virginia was appointed to chair the committee on Legislation, one of the most important committees and one of two that are mandated by our county charter. Virtually every piece of legislation that comes before the Board of Legislators is vetted and debated in the Legislation Committee before going to the full Board for a vote. She also co-chairs the Hispanic Affairs and Minority Affairs Task Forces at the Board of Legislators.
Virginia is very active and engaged with community organizations and her constant presence has been critical in bridging the gap between residents and those who represent them in public office. Virginia is currently a volunteer for the Resolve to Stop Violence Project (RSVP) by Victims Assistance Services where she goes to the Westchester County Jail to speak to inmates about the depth of their crimes as efforts for rehabilitation. Additionally, she works closely with Westhab by co-hosting the Annual Meet Your Neighbor event. During a moment of brainstorming with Westhab’s staff, the idea of having a local event where the community can come out and enjoy activities, refreshments and each other’s company, came to fruition. Virginia has also allocated funding for a Back to School initiative where Westhab uses these funds to purchase school supplies to distribute to the children of the programs. Virginia is an active alumna of the Citizen’s Police Academy through the Yonkers Police Department, where she received training in the legal, social and procedural aspects of policing. She actively promotes the Citizen’s Police Academy and encourages Yonkers residents to participate in this very important program, which is a part of the Department’s ongoing effort to develop a working relationship with the community. Virginia believes that there is a direct correlation between education and crime. In efforts to empower students through education, she has planned and executed several extremely successful Yonkers College Fairs with over 110 college and university representatives, collectively, and over 200 attendees present.
Virginia is a humble, outgoing and dedicated woman who views her constituents as her extended family. She maintains direct communication with them by knocking on their doors and offering them her assistance face to face, even on “off” years. Virginia Perez is always delivering for Yonkers and always delivering for Westchester County.
Summer 2013 Newsletter
Fall 2012 Newsletter