This year, Cruz was appointed by Speaker Carl Heastie as chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on New Americans. The assemblywoman said she will focus largely on education and advocacy, and is in the process of developing a civic engagement initiative with organizations like the New York Immigration Coalition, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and other groups that represent new Americans.

“The idea is to make sure people understand how their government works,” she said, “and how to better their own neighborhoods, from volunteering to helping them go through the process of becoming permanent residents, citizens and voting.”

The task force will launch the new initiative in a few months, Cruz said. They will also take a look at key legislation, hold hearings and meetings and support the state’s Office for New Americans.

“I’ll use the tools of the task force to push for the recovery bills that will help all New York families,” Cruz said, “but are even more impactful for new American families.”

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