Wilfredo Lopez

Wilfredo “Wil” López is the director of government affairs at Urban Resources Institute, the largest provider of Domestic Violence shelters in the country. Wil studied at College of the Holy Cross where he received his B.A in political science and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University where he received his J.D. Wil has served as a legislative city employee, labor organizer, and community advocate with a track record of successfully effecting change.

Wil spent his early years growing up in Puerto Rico as the youngest of 7 brothers and sisters. Like so many, his father— a union electrician, and his mother— who ran their family’s bodega, worked tirelessly to create a better future for Wil and his siblings. Despite struggling with an undiagnosed learning disability, Wil persevered and earned a scholarship to become the first in his family to attend college. 

He worked at Best Buy for more than a decade to support his family, initially stocking shelves and eventually running a $50 million dollar store. At age 33, he left Best Buy to go to law school— graduating with honors and pursuing his dream to fight the injustices in his community. Wil’s professional career led him to work as an immigration defense attorney as well as at a progressive DA’s office, where he focused on making changes and modifying policies that hurt those who live in underserved communities. He continued to serve as a legislative director in the New York City Council, where he helped author and pass 22 pieces of legislation on a range of issues. 

Wil was also key in banning cancer causing pesticides from being sprayed in East Harlem’s parks and playgrounds, and helped found the City Council Union, which became the largest independent municipal labor union in the United States. 

During the early days of the pandemic, Wil organized his building and started a rent strike against the landlord who had kept residents without gas for months. With the support of community organizations, the tenants sued the landlord and won, forgiving every cent of back rent and debts, some nearing 6 figures. Wil lives in East Harlem with his wife Luisa Lòpez. 

Wil and Luisa volunteer for several non-profit organizations across the city. Wil also serves on the Metropolitan Hospital Community Advisory Board and the Latino Justice Líderes Young Professional Board. He is also a former candidate for the 68th Assembly District in East Harlem.