Sal Albanese was born in Calabria, Italy, and immigrated to Brooklyn at eight years old. He graduated from John Jay High School in 1967, received his B.A. in Education from CUNY York College, earned an M.A. in Health Science from NYU, and went on to get his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1990. He is also a member of the New York State Bar and has held FINRA Series 7 and 63 Securities Licenses.
Sal was a New York City public school teacher for eleven years. In 1982, at the urging of community residents, he ran for City Council and defeated a 21-year incumbent and Republican-Conservative Minority Leader. He won re-election four times, representing the people of southwestern Brooklyn until 1997 when he became a candidate for Mayor of New York City.
As a councilman, Sal was a member of the Public Safety, Education, and Transportation committees. An expert on police issues, he successfully worked with community leaders to put more officers on patrol and improve community-police relations.
Sal was the leading advocate for public school accountability and proposed giving parents a formal role in the decision-making process. He fought to transform a struggling high school in his district into the successful High School of Telecommunications Arts and Technology.
To protect workers and taxpayers in the city contracting process, Sal introduced the pioneering New York City Living Wage Bill. It has impacted 70,000 workers and put $3 billion into their pockets. It requires contractors to find savings in management efficiency and services, rather than worker’s paychecks.
To restore democracy in the era of the campaign contributor, Sal has been a leading advocate for campaign finance reform and term limits. He was the original sponsor of a campaign finance reform bill that would permanently remove big money from the political process.
Throughout his career, Sal has been a strong supporter of human rights. He helped pass one of the first bills in the nation that prohibited housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
For the past 19 years, Sal has worked in the private sector in the legal and financial field. Sal now lives in Staten Island with his wife of more than 40 years, Lorraine. They have two daughters.