Celia Dosamantes, a lifelong Bellerose resident, threw her hat into the District 23 New York City Council election this past July.
Dosamantes, 24, a graduate of PS 133, MS 172, Francis Lewis High School and the SUNY Albany Excelsior College for Politics, has grounded herself in the community, education and politics of Queens.
In the past few years she has worked for Assemblyman David Weprin as Communications Director and Congresswoman Grace Meng as her executive assistant for Outreach Services. With Meng, her job was more community services and less legislation, Dosmantes admits,“I love legislation.” Her last position was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Phil Ramos and she confesses “I’d still be there if this election didn’t happen.”
Despite her young age, Dosamantes is tenacious in gaining experience in politics. In her late teens, when applying for jobs at law firms, she said she would put her hair up in a bun and wear glasses to look older.
“I always worked,” she noted even when going to school. She found courses at different schools across the borough to fit her schedule until she transferred to SUNY Albany and finished her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2012.
Dosamantes speaks three Indian dialects; Hindi, Punjabi, and Bengali as well as Spanish.
While working with Weprin she made contacts in the Bangledeshi community and began working for the charity Bangledeshi American Advocacy as the group’s Executive Director. “It is the first ever South Asian lobby,” she noted. She said she was able to help them transform their legislative priorities so they could better represent themselves in Albany.
She has also worked on the Religious Garb Bill, which prevents workers from being discriminated against based on their religious attire. She has aided Kevin Harington, a cabby who risked his life driving people back and forth hours after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. He was soon ostracized for his clothing on the job.
Dosamantes has lobbied for the first ever Lunar New Year to be recognized as a school holiday which promotes the religious awareness of Korea and China, “a community that often feels left behind,” she said.
She boasts of her office at 212-06 Union Tpke in Hollis Hills, “I’m very proud of it,” mainly because she feels it is source of community advocacy that would handle any project. “Nothing is too big or too small,” Dosmantes said. They even look into replacing street lights and paving pot holes. Dosamantes is in and out of the office all day, has two people on staff and a few volunteers.
She is looking, “To earn their vote through my commitment and service to them.”
Her campaign has unfortunately been plagued by her late filing of campaign contributions, which prevented her from getting matching funds. In a previous Queens Tribune article, she was quoted as saying; she “found errors on some of the contributor’s forms and checks.” She added, “I had a choice. I could file on time, and have incorrect, incomplete information, and that wouldn’t be fair to the people in my district or I could file late.”
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin