Age: 29 | Position: Lead Community Organizer, Public Advocate’s Office
It was Sadye Campoamor’s husband, Jesse—another of City & State’s Rising Stars this year—who introduced her to Bill de Blasio. At the time, Jesse was the Manhattan coordinator for de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate, and Sadye was squeaking by as an artist making jewelry after the school she taught at in central Harlem shut down for lack of funding.
Sadye, who grew up in Gramercy Park and graduated from Oberlin, initially volunteered for de Blasio’s campaign, and then joined his staff after he got elected. She started in the public advocate’s office manning the help hotline, before moving into community organizing. These days she is essentially de Blasio’s body person as he crisscrosses the city in his dual capacity as elected official and mayoral candidate.
“As we’ve gone deeper down the rabbit hole, I travel with Bill day in, day out,” Sadye said. “All the places we go, from community rooms in Canarsie to churches in Laurelton to fabulous views of New York City … the diversity, the vastness of who makes up our city, all of the moving pieces, is by far the most incredible part of my job.”
Of course, Sadye’s position has taken on surprising and exciting new dimensions in recent months. “I think we’re all learning as we go,” she explained. “Our world has changed really quickly, and we recognize that it’s such a blessing.”
If you were not working in politics or government, what would you be doing? “I would be an educator, a teacher, possibly continuing to be a metalsmith, a jeweler, utilizing art as a tool to organize, to empower, to educate and to unify communities.”
What is your favorite place in New York City? “I got to go with my home. Among me and Jesse and our friends we colloquially call it ‘The People’s Apartment.’ … It has been a source of consistency in Jesse’s and our lives, a sacred space where we can come home and chill out, but really what it is is a Grand Central for all of our friends passing through the city. … Being able to have created that space, and provide that space for our community and our family, has been really special.”