Julia Salazar’s “Radical” debut in Albany

A new graphic memoir chronicled the state senator’s first legislative session.

The cover for "Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator" by Sofia Warren.

The cover for "Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator" by Sofia Warren. Top Shelf Productions

In 2018, Julia Salazar was part of a progressive wave of candidates that defeated a slate of Democratic incumbents. In the June primary, Salazar defeated Martin Malavé Dilan, who had served 16 years in the state Senate, 59% to 41% to represent Bushwick, Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

A few months after her primary victory, Sofia Warren, who has been a contributing cartoonist for The New Yorker since 2017, contacted Salazar to see if she’d be open to having a cartoonist tag along and make a graphic novel about Salazar’s “first few months as a state senator.” Those first few months turned into about eight months of following Salazar through the end of her first legislative session in Albany. 

This book excerpt starts with the first in-person meeting between Warren and Salazar. The now-state senator explained how she moved here from Florida, where she was born, and her transformation from conservative student at Columbia University to organizer with Jews For Racial and Economic Justice.

“Radical: My Year With A Socialist Senator” is being published by Top Shelf Productions and releases on June 14.

Excerpt: "Radical: My ... by City & State NY