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Kenny Agosto (CD 15)

Political Party: Democrat
Office Seeking: City Council District 15
Opponents: Albert Alvarez (CD 15)  Raquel Batista (CD 15)  Joel Bauza (CD 15)  Joel Rivera (CD 15)  Cynthia Thompkins (CD 15)  Ritchie Torres (D)  
Currently: District Leader, 80th Assembly District
Education: St. Thomas University (BA)

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Taken from candidate’s campaign website:
Kenny Kenneth Gaspar Agosto was born on November 20, 1969, to two proud Puerto Rican parents: Carmen Iris and Santos Agosto, Jr. He was born at the old Fordham Hospital in The Bronx, in New York City. Kenny, a lifelong resident of The Bronx, was raised in NYC Public Housing. He was educated in New York City public schools in the Bronx which included Morris High School.

During his high school years, Kenny worked hard after school six days a week at a local Wendy’s to help make ends meet. He was active in Aspira and the PAL.

He participated in the NYC Summer Youth Program where he worked for Mount Hebron Services for Special People, located at the New York Institute for the Blind in the North Bronx. There, he worked with visually impaired children with intellectual disabilities. Kenny remembered all the bullying he endured and swore to help others.

Kenny is Fluent in American Sign Language, Spanish, English, and Mandarin. After high school, Kenny went away to attend St. Thomas University of Villanova in Miami, Florida where he worked three jobs and wrote for the college newspaper. He was president of Political Action club and Circle K Service Club. Kenny earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and minored in history and Communication/ Journalism. He was the first Puerto Rican elected student government president.

After college, Kenny returned to The Bronx, to work with people with intellectual disabilities. He worked several years in the mental health field serving in several capacities with Mount Hebron, the Puerto Rican Family Institute, Community Action for Human Services, and ACRMD/Lifespire. Kenny volunteered on The Bronx Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities Council, often traveling to Albany and Washington to lobby on behalf of the disabled. It wasn’t long before he grew a reputation for fighting for the rights of people with disabilities in the community.

In advocating for his disabled consumers, he started to work with seniors and veterans. Kenny soon became interested in public service. He dove into local politics head on becoming active in Bronx Democratic politics. He lobbied for his consumers as well as his neighbors. He was involved at community board meetings.

Kenny volunteered on many progressive causes for Tenant PAC, the Straphanger’s Campaign, Alliance for Quality Education, NARAL, South Bronx Asthma Partnership, Hearts and Hammers, Stop the Violence, Bronx Team Up for Clean Up. Bronx C.A.N. (Changing Attitudes Now), and The Bronx Peace In The Streets Initiative.

During the Nineties, he served as a community organizer for his neighborhood as well as an all-around advocate for his hometown, The Bronx. Kenny worked on many local, state, and national campaigns. In 1996, He promptly joined The Bronx Young Democrats where he chaired the steering committee. He also joined the New York State Young Democrats, where he served as treasurer and executive director.

In 2000, Bronx County Democratic Chairman Roberto Ramirez appointed Kenny the youngest vice chair of the Bronx Democratic Party. Kenny has served on several boards of both governmental task forces and community based organizations including the New York State Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force, serving as executive director and The New York State Senate Haiti Assistance & Relief Task force (H.A.R.T.), as a point-person for the task force chair, Sen. Hassell-Thompson.

In addition, he served on Community Board #11, the 49th Police Precinct Community Council, as well as serving on the boards of Claremont Neighborhood Centers, Highbridge Advisory Council, Pro-Co Technologies/Compass Computer Center, and the Bronx Community Pride Center.

Kenny has helped many legislators and judges get elected as well as electing officials citywide and statewide including national campaigns. He has served in several capacities in both chambers of the NYS Legislature including Chief of Staff for two members of the NYS Assembly, Special Assistant to several state senators, and Majority Information Services Regional Coordinator for former NYS Majority Leader, covering NYC, Westchester, and Nassau Counties.

In 2004, after his mother’s untimely death, Kenny founded The Carmen Iris Agosto Asthma Foundation joining the South Bronx Asthma Partnership. Later he founded the Liberty Democratic Association of the 80th Assembly District, A progressive independent democratic organization made up of a hybrid of progressives and regulars who are concerned with the many issues in our collective neighborhoods.

In 2006, Kenny Agosto was elected Democratic district leader of the 80th Assembly District. He started to utilize his position as a bully pulpit to advocate for his very diverse constituency. He strongly advocated for affordable housing and universal healthcare. Kenny is an advocate for the people at hospital, nursing home, and senior center closures.

He has been involved with the issues with the water filtration construction at Jerome Park Reservoir. He has participated in discussions regarding the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment (KARA) in Kingsbridge as well as many labor disputes.

Kenny has been an advocateagainst the MTA, being vocal against fare increases and service cuts. He has advocated for more opportunities for seniors, veterans as well as the disabled. A tireless advocate for working families and the men and women of labor.

Kenny fought to repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell & fights for the repeal of D.O.M.A.- The Defense Of Marriage Act. He protested for more H.I.V./A.I.D.S funding and housing as well as was an early vocal proponent for Marriage Equality in New York State.
He has been vocal on the NYC Charter Revision Commission, going on record on Congestion pricing, Repealing of Vacancy decontrol, and term limits. Kenny joined thousands of New Yorkers angry with Mayor Bloomberg’s shameless 11th hour revocation of term limits even after the people twice voted overwhelmingly against it., Kenny personally faced down the wealthiest, most powerful man in New York, blasting Mayor Michael Bloomberg on live television at City Hall.

In 2009, he was the first district leader and Democratic club to support and endorse Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. as well as Assembly Members Gibson & Crespo.

In 2010, he also founded The Bronx Rainbow Independent Democratic Association (BRIDA), A Bronx wide LGBTQ independent progressive democratic organization.

In 2011, Kenny took on the New York State Legislature on marriage equality.
He and thousands of New Yorkers marched on Albany.
He held rallies and press conferences in The Bronx demanding equality for New York taxpaying citizens.
Kenny worked very hard helping the great State of New York make history, becoming the sixth and largest state in the union to adopt marriage equality for all.

In 2012, Kenny started the Freedom Democratic Association. Kenny began tackling his own health issues as well as the state of health and wellness in The Bronx, fighting obesity, heart disease, high pretention and diabetes in The Bronx. He supported Senator Gustavo Rivera and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr’s Bronx CAN Initiative. He joined Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and health guru, Dr. Vetere’s Genesis Bronx Wellness Movement.

Currently, Kenny serves as Special Assistant to the NYS Senate Democratic Conference Chairwoman, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D) The Bronx/ Westchester.
He serves on Bronx Neighborhood Advisory Board #11, and is the president & chairman of the board of We Stay/Nos Quedamos, an organization dedicated to building and preserving affordable & environmentally green housing in The Bronx.
Kenny continues serving and advocating for his constituents in his now fourth term as Democratic District Leader in The Bronx. Kenny will be on the move again visiting all of his friends & neighbors of the 15th district as he gets ready to walk, talk, and listen to the people as he runs for the open city council seat in the Bronx…