Virginia Perez

“The poor are so many, it is impossible to forget them.” These words of fellow Honduran, the poet Roberto Sosa, are what influenced a young José Alvarado to commit his time and attention to helping the poor and the disenfranchised. These are the values that drive José Alvarado as neighbor and community member and define Alvarado’s public servant agenda.

José Alvarado was first elected county legislator for the 17th District of Southwest Yonkers in 2001, earning him the distinction of becoming Westchester’s first Hispanic/Latino county legislator. In his five terms on the County Board, Mr. Alvarado served as chair of several committees including Public Works, Transportation, Labor & Parks; Community Affairs; and served as appointed member of most committees in the legislature. He was elected by his peers to serve as the Democratic caucus’ Majority Whip. Alvarado also served as chairman of the powerful Budget & Appropriations Committee during his last two terms. Always working in a bipartisan manner with all levels of government and in collaboration of his legislative colleagues and the county executive, Alvarado is credited for bringing over $125 million in infrastructure and programs’ funding to South-West Yonkers during his 10 years of service as Legislator.

When José moved from his native Honduras to Yonkers in 1982, he arrived having had only minimal exposure to a formal education and the English language. In order to help in the support of his family, José held a series of minimum wage jobs while working to earn his high school equivalency diploma. While studying business at Mercy College, José volunteered as an English tutor in the school’s bilingual program. This experience launched what has been an unbroken commitment to serve his community and a life of public service.

Alvarado’s volunteerism over the years spans a wide variety of community and civic groups including, CLUSTER; his parish, Iglesia San Andres; the NAACP; NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) and LCLAA (Labor Council for Latin American Advancement); Executive Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America Westchester Putnam Council; the Southwest Yonkers Living Transformation International Committee of Seven; the Yonkers’ Third Precinct Community Council; Nodine Hill Common Good Inc.; and the Yonkers-South Broadway Business Improvement District.

José has served on the Advisory Boards of the White Plains Hospital Diabetes Center; the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the Yonkers Mexican Chamber of Commerce, and, the Westchester Community College Yonkers Extension. He was also a member of Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s Hispanic Advisory Group.

For all his efforts he has received a multitude of recognitions. Some of these include: The American Lung Association Excellence in Leadership Award, The Hispanic Resource Center Amigo Award, La Guia Hispana Service Award, Mercy College Public Service Award, The Dominican Cultural Association of Yonkers Award, Hispanic Democrats of Westchester Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award, National Association of Counties Leadership Award, Child Care Council of Westchester Award, and for his great contributions and efforts to help build up Southwest Yonkers Businesses to their full potential was named the God-father of the South Broadway Business Improvement District (BID. In addition, for his 10 years of public services as Legislator, he received the highest distinction award granted to individuals in Westchester County. He has served as Democratic Party District Leader for many years and is a member of the Yonkers Democratic Executive Committee as 7th Ward Leader.

Mr. Alvarado earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Mercy College. He pursued his graduate work at Pace University where he earned a master’s degree in Public Administration/Health Care. In 2010 he received a Leadership Certificate from NYU School of Management, New York. Jose has always kept himself very occupied and even before becoming a Legislator he was serving Westchester County as: Case Manager for Personal Care Services; then as Senior Case Manager for Child Protective Services; as Management Fellow for the Commissioner of DSS; and even as Assistant to the County Executive for the IDA. He was a Special Advisor to the President and CEO of White Plains Hospital for 10 years and served as Community Outreach Consultant for different organizations. In 2012, before rejoining private industry, he served as Assistant to Yonkers’ Mayor and Yonkers’ City Clerk and he has taught Political Science as adjunct professor at Mercy College. He has returned to government service and currently serves as Director of Recreation for Yonkers’ Parks Department and on June 25, 2019 he was reelected as County Legislator and will start serving his 6th term on January 1, 2020

José and his wife Karla are the proud parents of Amy Isabel (17), Melina Raquel (14), and Ryan José (8), all 3 children are exceling in the Yonkers Public Schools.

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