Maria Danzilo is a lawyer, mother of three, and a lifelong New Yorker. She has lived on the Upper West Side for the past 40 years and has been here for all the highs and lows of our great neighborhood.
She is committed to returning District 6 to the safe, clean, secure and thriving neighborhood we all love, and will be a fierce advocate for our community as we rebuild during the challenging times ahead.
A Lifelong History of Dedication & Service to the Community
Maria is the product of all the great things that New York City has made possible for generations of immigrant families. Her grandparents settled first in Little Italy, then moved to Brooklyn where she grew up. Her parents and grandparents have been small business owners through all the ups and downs our City has faced. They owned a pharmacy on Bergen Street off Flatbush Avenue, and a paper box manufacturing company in industrial Brooklyn. Her uncles owned restaurants and retail stores, even a pet shop. Throughout her life her family always taught her about helping others and giving back to the community.
- UWS resident since the 1980s
- Third generation New Yorker
- Raised in a family of small business owners
- Worked her way through college
- Mother of three
- Respected attorney
- Free speech advocate
- Provided help to struggling businesses during Covid-19
- Active volunteer in community initiatives
A few years ago she started a law practice representing tech start-ups, small businesses, artists and writers. Through her work, Maria became immersed in the challenges of starting a small business and the insecurity of working as a freelancer in creative fields in New York. During the pandemic, Maria continued those efforts by helping small businesses in crisis on a pro bono basis with accessing much needed funds to help them survive this tumultuous time.
Maria and her husband raised their three children on the Upper West Side. She was the primary caregiver for her elderly parents until they passed away. She understands the challenges so many of us face in juggling work, family, elder care and other commitments and the need for families to have good education options for their children. She knows first-hand the importance of giving families the support they need during this tumultuous time to ensure access to vital resources.
Over the past few years Maria has become increasingly active as an advocate for our community on the UWS. She has worked with local leaders to spearhead efforts to increase government transparency, fundraised for FoodBankNYC during COVID-19, and she has been a strong advocate for increasing access to sports programs as a critical way to provide an outlet for many in our community. She has volunteered for organizations such as Amp Surf, which teaches disabled veterans how to surf, and the Public Squash Foundation, which builds public courts in underserved communities. Maria also serves on the Leadership Committee of the Women in Sports Foundation.
Why Am I Running for City Council?
Clean, Safe Streets for Everyone
I am running because I am seeing the decline of the UWS right in front of me. Crime is up, our streets are not clean. I know we need safe and clean streets for our whole community to thrive.
Ensure Access to a High-Quality Education
The DOE is closing the door on some of our most successful school options. Our elected leaders have ignored us.
Protect and Support our UWS Small businesses
Small businesses that we have known and loved, the lifeblood of our community, are disappearing all around us because our leaders are not providing them the financial and institutional support that they need. I know how much work it takes to run these businesses.
I am a third generation New Yorker, from a family of small business owners, and I am stepping up to help bring our city back. In my legal career I have interacted with tech giants, such as Amazon and Google, and I know how to work with them productively to get things done. As the only candidate with real experience in both fighting for small businesses and collaborating with big tech, I will bring these skills to advocate for and protect the UWS every day.
“I am running because I am seeing the decline of the UWS right in front of me and I see a path to better days ahead.”
A Voice for Our Community
Maria has earned the support from members of our community of all stripes. From community groups to environmental activists, they all understand the vital experience that Maria brings to the table.