If he wins, the 26-year-old candidate would make history as the first Latino to represent the district.
“That comes with a lot of pride,” he said.
Ardila, whose father is Colombian and mother is Honduran and Cuban, attended St. Adalbert Catholic Academy, Archbishop Molloy High School and Fordham University, where he studied political science. He later earned his master’s degree in public administration from NYU.
After working for Councilman Brad Lander, Ardila served as an expansion consultant for the Department of Education, where he helped expand dual language programs, 3-K and Pre-K For All.
“It was extremely historic and really good work,” he said.
Ardila also has nonprofit experience with the International Rescue Committee, and more recently as a program coordinator with the Legal Aid Society, where he helps people obtain legal representation.
If elected, Ardila said he would focus on affordable housing, education reform and public transportation, all issues that impact the diverse neighborhoods of the district. He would also bring back participatory budgeting.
Though he officially launched his campaign in March, just 10 days before the city shut down due to COVID-19, Ardila has already raised over $20,000 from more than 300 donors. The average size of donations was $69.
“These contributions were coming from throughout the whole district,” he said. “It’s generating a lot of excitement.
Ardila added that the reception from the community for his campaign has been “amazing.”
“I genuinely believe we can do a lot of good,” he said. “I’m here to bring a new dynamic to the conversation.”