Valdez Heron is a Community Organizer with the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. He grew up with a passion for politics, justice, and an urge to create systemic changes for his community in New York City. He has been following the political landscape since 2005.
Valdez grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He has been in the streets and caught up in the criminal justice system. In 2009, after a run in with the law, he was connected to services and training with the Common Justice's innovative alternative to incarceration program for serious felony offenses. While at Common Justice, Valdez learned the importance of being accountable and using empathy in his public interactions and private life. In 2011, he got involved with Drug Policy Alliance for drug policy and criminal justice reform. There he cut his teeth on advocacy and campaigns related to ending racially biased marijuana arrests in New York. Seeking to continue his development, Valdez joined Katal in December 2016. In the summer and fall of 2017, he went through Katal's BLOC Training Curriculum, the Undoing Racism training, and completed his training as an Apprentice Organizer. In January 2018 Valdez graduated into a full fledged Community Organizer with Katal. He has been organizing across the city with directly impacted people, youth, community members, neighbors, business owners, and others to build power and win systemic change. When he's not organizing, Valdez is spending time with his children and family in Brooklyn.