Community Funding Committee - Hudson Valley

Sandra Cuellar Oxford

Born in Manhattan and raised in Queens, Sandra intentionally raised her two sons Zachary and Desmond in the rural communities of Ulster and Sullivan counties, where she has lived for the past 29 years of her life. Sandra currently resides in the hamlet of Hurleyville in Sullivan County, New York.

After relocating in 1988 to a farm in Modena, NY, her world collided with the harsh, brutal and unfair conditions farm workers face. Appalled by the economic inequity, systemic racism legislatively held-over from the Jim Crow era, Sandra developed her determination to become a strong ally to farm workers and the NYS Farm Worker Justice Campaign.

A move to Sullivan County expanded Sandra’s advocacy for workers’ rights. In the heart of the county’s food-processing corridor, she witnessed her neighbors being used as a disposable workforce in the food production industry. Exposing the IDA, the Empire Zone Program and local officials who were accomplices to the poverty style employment promoted as “economic development” in Sullivan County became part of her vocation.

This politic spurred her involvement as an active member of the Mid-Hudson Region’s Working Families Party serving on the State Committee of the NYS WFP Committee and is a delegate to the judicial convention. She is always ready to assist new up and coming progressive leaders take their rightful place in electoral politics.

Sandy proudly serves as a representative and political & community liaison of UFCW Local 888. In 2007 she joined Region 1 staff of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. This introduction into the labor movement galvanized her commitment to empowering workers to make a difference in their lives, their workplace through organizing for lasting power.

Sandra’s appointment to various governmental boards and her volunteer service on numerous not-for-profit boards dedicated to health, legal representation for the indigent, youth services, and immigrant advocacy spans two decades. She currently serves as a board member of the Hudson River Health Care-Health Centers, Worker Justice Center of New York, and is a member of WJFF Radio’s Community Advisory Board.

Sandra’s roots as a community organizer, educator, and trainer were nurtured in the Mid-Hudson/Catskill region. In this transitional time Sandy has become better known as “Sandstorm” on the Mid-Hudson Misfits Women’s Roller Derby and Empire State Roller Derby (male & female) Teams. Derby wisdom is relevant and transferable into everyday life: “If you get knocked down five times you get up six.”