Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar Throws Largest Dominican Independence Celebration in the History of Her District

Over 200 attendees enjoy a night of Bachata dancing, live music, performances and Dominican food
Mayor Eric Adams makes special appearance as well as prominent Dominican leaders from across the City

South Queens, NY – Queens was abuzz on Friday night when Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar threw the biggest Dominican Independence Day celebration in her district’s history. Over 200 people came to partake in the festivities, including many of the Assemblywoman’s Dominican constituents from Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Ridgewood in the Assemblywoman’s district. Assemblywoman Rajkumar’s event also attracted a who’s who of New York City’s Dominican leaders, including her Assembly colleagues Amanda Septimo and Yudelka Tapia, as well as Deputy Mayor of New York City Ana Almanzar, the highest ranking Dominican-American in City government. Dominican leader Cerilo Moronta, recently elected as Overseas Deputy representative for the Dominican legislature and known Citywide, was also in attendance.

The bustling event emanated from Benrooftop, a beloved Dominican-managed event space in Ozone Park. The party spanned two stories, featuring live music and dancing on the roof, along with exquisite authentic Dominican cuisine on the bottom floor.

In one of the evening’s highlights, Assemblywoman Rajkumar made a grand entrance to the song “Jenny from the Block'' by Jennifer Lopez, one of the most prominent Latinas in America, who famously sings in the chorus, “Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, / I’m still Jenny from the Block. / Used to have a little, now I have a lot. / No matter where I go, I know where I came from.”

Mayor Eric Adams arrived later in the night, and danced with the Assemblywoman to the iconic Dominican smash hit “Suavemente,” with Assemblywoman Tapia and Deputy Mayor Almanzar joining them on the dance floor in front of a cheering crowd.

The partygoers were treated to authentic Dominican dance, live music, and food. The famed troupe Dominican Dance Group, Inc. captivated the attendees with their graceful stylings. Capping off the night was the presentation of a large, delectable cake adorned with the Dominican flag.

Assemblywoman Rajkumar honored leaders from the Dominican American community. She presented proclamations to Deputy Mayor Almanzar; Dominican Dance Group founder and Queens Hospital Center healthcare worker Ramona Torres; Overseas Representative Moronta, who is also the founder of 809 Restaurant & Lounge founder Cirilo Moronta; and Dominican entrepreneur Jose A. Peralta. The Assemblywoman also presented a proclamation to the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic in New York, in recognition of their longstanding partnership to serve New York’s Dominican community together.

Mayor Adams said, “No one does it better than our Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar…This community and this district is so blessed to have a leader that understands you have to connect cities and communities in order to bring home real prosperity to your district.”

Assemblywoman Tapia, Dominican representative from the Bronx, said, “Let’s hear it for Jenifer Rajkumar. This is amazing, like everything that she does. Amazing. But yes, Jenifer is my sister from another mother. For a long time, before she was elected, before I was elected. We know each other and we’re going to push each other together for many things here in Queens, in the Bronx, and every place that our community has needed us to put our leadership to make sure we are doing the right thing to make sure our families actually are being raised and doing it with dignity. That’s what we do every single day. And I love Rajkumar because of her leadership. Look what she has done tonight.”

The event continued Assemblywoman Rajkumar’s commitment to uplift emerging communities that never had a voice in government. In 2022, she hosted the first Dominican Independence Day party in her district’s history, making it an annual tradition that grows bigger every year. The Assemblywoman especially wanted to recognize the Dominican American community of South Queens, who do not receive the same recognition as their communities in Washington Heights and the South Bronx.

Assemblywoman Rajkumar said, “I am proud to recognize, support, and uplift all of our City’s emerging New American communities. My annual Dominican Independence Day Party says to the Dominican community, ‘We see you, we recognize you, and you have a seat at the table of power.’ Every day, I fight for every community that makes up the Gorgeous Mosaic of our City.”