Valerio Orselli

Orselli (b. 1949) immigrated from Italy to Brazil in 1954 and to New York in 1960. He has been a passionate advocate for affordable housing for almost 50 years, especially in the Lower East Side/East Village. His life-long commitment to activism and advocacy has led to work with the Cooper Square Community Land Trust, Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, and the Cooper Square Committee, where he has served as director. In this Oral History, he discusses his decades of work protecting and creating affordable housing in the Lower East Side/East Village, battling everyone from city government to deep-pocketed developers and even the Catholic Church.