James Vacca Edit Profile
He attended New York City public schools, graduating from P.S. 71, J.H.S. 101, and Christopher Columbus High School.
He is a Democrat. The district includes Allerton, Baychester, Bronx Park, City Island, Co-op City, Country Club, Ferry Point Park, Hart Island, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Pelham Bay Park, Pelham Islands, Schuylerville, Throggs Neck, part of Van Nest and Westchester Square in The Bronx. He holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York and a master's degree in Urban Studies from CUNY Queens College. Vacca is also an adjunct professor at CUNY Queens College, where he teaches courses in urban studies.
Prior to being elected to the City Council in 2005, Vacca served as District Manager of Bronx Community Board 10 for 26 years, and was appointed to the position in 1980, when he was only 25 years old, becoming one of the youngest District Managers in the city's history. He had previously served as Chairman of the Board. For numerous consecutive years under his leadership, Board 10 was ranked the cleanest and safest community board in the Bronx.
Vacca came out as a gay man in 2016. In early 2005, with Councilwoman Madeline Provenzano term-limited out of office, Vacca announced his candidacy for the 13th Council District seat. Already an established public figure in the East Bronx due to his years as District Manager, he was endorsed by Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, as well as dozens of community and civic groups, and The New York Times.
In the general election, he defeated Philip F. Foglia, candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines, with 64% of the vote. In 2009, Vacca ran for re-election under the Democratic and Republican lines, after being cross-endorsed by the Bronx Republican Party. Facing a little-known challenger running on the Conservative Party line, Vacca was easily re-elected to a second term, winning 92.8% of the vote.
On Council, Vacca has been a strong advocate for responsible zoning laws and for prevention of overdevelopment. In 2007, Vacca was also named co-chair of the Council's Working Group on School Governance and Mayoral Control, established to guide the Council recommendations upon the expiration of mayoral control in 2009. Vacca has also been influential in protecting funding for the Fire Department of New York.
He also has been a proponent of congestion pricing.
President Northeast Bronx Senior Citizens' Center, 1975—2005. Member advisory council Middletown Plz. Senior Center; vice president Pelham Bay Taxpayers & Civic Association.
Secretary 45th Precinct Community Council. Member of Knights of Columbus.
Married Shirley Vacca. 1 child Elizabeth.