Nily Rozic is of Argentine descent but was born in Israel. That makes her a good match for her New York state Assembly district, which is heavily populated by immigrants. Her name on Twitter is spelled in Chinese characters.
Serving a diverse urban district means Rozic pays attention to a range of issues. She’s known as a champion of bus service, since her Queens district doesn’t have a subway stop. Rozic has also focused on issues of direct concern to women, from expanding rights for women suffering from domestic violence to banning solitary confinement for pregnant women prisoners.
She’s drawn the most attention with a bill that requires that sports teams treat their cheerleaders as employees, rather than denying them rights as independent contractors. “The Buffalo Jills are New Yorkers, just as much as the person living down the street from me,” she says. “We found extreme inequity between the genders when it came to their role in sports.” Rozic was steeped in social justice at home and at school. She worked on campaigns and in government before winning office on her own. At 26, she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Assembly.