Lower East Side Community Hero
Nominated by Andrea Gordillo, The Clemente
John Blasco is a Queer Puerto Rican Activist and Organizer living in the Lower East Side. John has lived in public housing all of his life, while also fighting for better living conditions of the residents who live there. He started his work as a community organizer for FIERCE, a youth-led organization for queer and trans youth of color. John took on the role of the Lead Organizer; organizing campaigns around police accountability, access to public space, and pushing the city to support a 24-hour LGBTQ drop in center for runaway and homeless youth.
After 7 years of organizing, in 2014 John left FIERCE to work for former Councilwoman Rosie Mendez as her communications director and scheduler. He continued serving district 2 in 2018 under Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, as her Director of Community Organizing and Participatory Budgeting. During that role he led multiple mobile office hours, held community resource fairs, and neighborhood assemblies getting residents involved in neighborhood improvements. John ended his time at the City Council working for Speaker Corey Johnson in the community engagement division.
John now works for Assembly Member Harvey Epstein as Chief of Staff overseeing the operations and issues in Assembly a district 74. John believes in accessibility for all, regardless of disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or race. His personal values led him to run for the seat of District Leader of the 74th Assembly District, which he was elected in June 2019. He is a member of CODA – a local political organization in the Lower East Side, a founding member of the Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition helping to maintain the open street on Avenue B, a garden member at Carmen Pabon’s Garden on Ave C, and a volunteer at the 9th Street Community Garden.
John believes in the power of the people and is always working to maintain the history of legends like Sylvia Rivera and the Young Lords Party. He lives by the motto: “Nothing for Us, Without Us!”
Connect with John on Twitter and Instagram at @JblascoNYC