Rep. Nydia M. Valazquez is the Democratic U.S. Representative for the 12th District of New York (NY-12), which includes parts of Brooklyn, Queens amd Manhattan. One of 23 Hispanics in the U.S. House of Representatives, she is the chair of the House Committee on Small Business. She was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992.
Velasquez was born on March 22, 1953 in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She is married to Paul Bader. The became the first person in her family to receive a college degree, she was awarded a B.A. in Political Science from University of Puerto Rico in 1974 and a M.A. in Political Science from New York University in 1976. In 1983, Velázquez was appointed Special Assistant to Representative Edolphus Towns and in 1977 became the first Hispanic woman appointed to serve on the New York City Council.