Maya Contreras is from four generations of artists and advocates. Contreras is a lifelong Housing Rights and Voting Rights advocate. Raised by a single mother, at age 10, Maya and her family were evicted from their home and lived in a storage facility for a short time. Maya became a Housing Rights advocate at age 16 after her mother passed away from breast cancer. Contreras recognized then how profoundly fragile and precarious life is for far too many people. Permanent housing for Maya represents dignity, safety, and well-being. In 2013 Contreras became a Voting Rights advocate when the Voting Rights Act was gutted by SCOTUS. Contreras testified in the New York Senate on March 3, 2020, in support of the New York State Voting Rights Act. Maya has given Policy and Voting Rights lectures at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Brennan Center for Justice, Clark University, The Pratt Institute, and NYU to name a few. Contreras co-founded the All Womxn’s Progress Policy Center to create an intersectional policy institute dedicated to improving the lives of women and marginalized groups through research and education. Maya Contreras has a MA in Arts & Public Policy from NYU and a BA in Comparative Religion from FSU. Contreras was appointed by City Councilmember Carlina Rivera to the Neighborhood Advisory Board, Community 3 Manhattan, for which she serves as Chairman.
Maya sees what is possible when quality policy does the most good, for the most people. That can only happen when the community is involved at the beginning stages of policy, when their input is heard, and the representative is a true reflection of that community. Maya is a reflection of her community. What makes Maya stand out as a candidate is her ability to break down policies and connect them with people’s everyday lives. Maya is the only candidate in her district centering the disability community and the artistic and creative community. Maya’s policy slate would create accessbilty, access to opportunities, and resources. Maya Contreras has seen too many people, including herself, financially struggle. Too many have been treading water for years just to stay in the same place–and worse, some people in Maya’s community were no longer treading water; they were drowning. They’re constantly fundraising to cover medical expenses, medical debt, housing needs. It’s time we elect a representative that knows the district, knows what it is like to be unhoused, knows what it is like to fill out paperwork for an EBT card. Those harmed the most by negligent policy should be closest to the power to change it. Maya Contreras will do this as the next Congressional representative of her district.