Among the many candidates is Leonardo Bullaro, a Queens native and son of Italian immigrants who has made his mark in the field of education.
After graduating from NYU with a degree in finance and marketing, Bullaro initially wanted to enter the finance and banking field, but he quickly pivoted into the education and nonprofit world.
Bullaro helped launch what is now Urban Assembly Media High School, followed by a stint with Sweat Equity Education, a nonprofit founded by designer Marc Ecko to prepare students through design thinking. He also received a master’s degree from Columbia University.
He later worked for the Department of Education managing federal grants on innovating in the classroom and DREAM, a community organization providing after-school and summer programs.
“I have a 360-degree view of education,” Bullaro said.
He decided to run for elected office to continue his public service and to help solve other issues in the community. If elected, Bullaro plans to champion small businesses, encourage alternative transit options and boost apprenticeship programs.
The first-time candidate is already making strides in fundraising, outraising his opponents in the latest filings.
“Folks have always seen me as someone who wants to lead and serve,” he said. “We wanted to seize the moment.”
Bullaro also has dedicated volunteers, many of whom are friends, family and mentors, who are supporting his campaign.
“I have a big Italian family, they’re all super engaged,” he said. “That is tremendously reassuring.”