Lourdes Vazquez was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her commitment to public service started at the age of four protesting budget cuts to school meals in Washington, D.C. It has continued ever since.
She was a Project Coordinator at the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and managed a civic engagement project called Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Forums throughout the 5 boroughs which connected immigrants (regardless of their status) to city agency services, informed them of their rights and civic opportunities in their district. Within a span of 10 months, she coordinated and led 53 forums, reached a total of 1,602 immigrants, and engaged 83 volunteers. When super storm Sandy hit New York she was serving at the Coney Island Restoration Center and two evacuation centers in Brooklyn. During the tax season, she volunteered on Saturdays to file tax returns for low-income New Yorkers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Afterwards, as a Community Evaluator at United Way of NYC made possible through Public Allies of New York, she provided performance measurement services and co-led strategic planning sessions for a collective impact education initiative called ReadNYC. She built the organization’s Community Data Folder which informed strategy and investment for the organization. Outside of work hours she worked with a team of 10 to create and screen a documentary about gentrification in Crown Heights, Brooklyn called Capitalizing on the Crown.
Her passion in housing is to keep families in their homes, create more affordable housing units, and increase the number of landlords who accept government rental assistance. As a National Urban Fellow, Lourdes looks forward to developing her management skills and pursuing a career in housing policy.