The Hon. Dorcey Applyrs has built a personal and professional life in the City of Albany devoted to improving the quality of life for residents in her community, Albany’s First Ward. The Washington, D.C., native tackles health disparity and environmental safety issues affecting her constituents with a persistence and passion that city leaders have come to recognize and depend upon.
Applyrs holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Delaware State University. She moved to Albany to pursue graduate-level education and earned a master’s degree in public health from the University at Albany School of Public Health in 2005. Applyrs was hired as director of programs and field operations for the Capital District African American Coalition on AIDS and later worked as a capacity building assistance specialist with the Harm Reduction Coalition in New York City. She returned to UAlbany and earned a doctorate in public health in 2014 and was elected to the City of Albany Common Council First Ward in 2013.
The majority of Applyr’s work is geared toward meeting the needs of her constituents. As a Councilwoman, Applyrs is a voice for residents who live near the Port of Albany and feel unable to defend themselves from environmental injustices. She took the lead to improve police relationships within communities of color and sponsored legislation for tobacco-free city parks. In 2015, she hosted a women's health and economic empowerment summit. “During her first three years in office, Dr. Applyrs has undertaken many initiatives targeted to improving the health and well-being not only for her First Ward constituents, but for all city residents,” said former councilman Dominick Calsolaro. City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan considers Applyrs “a relevant and informative source of health-related policy matters for residents of Albany.”
Applyrs plays an influential role in public health programs at colleges in the Capital District. In 2013, she was hired as faculty program director for the Excelsior College School of Health Sciences to develop and implement programs in public health, including a bachelor of science in public health and concentration in the masters of science in health sciences. Most recently, she was appointed clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior at UAlbany’s School of Public Health.
Applyrs is highly engaged with the Albany community. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and served six years as program advisor for the Delta GEMS program, mentoring teenage girls. She is a member of the Albany County Board of Health and board member for the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, the Community Foundation, New Leaders Council and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood. Applyrs has served as a regional health equity council member for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. She is on the executive board for the Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club and Albany County Democratic Committee. Applyrs was named the 2017 Ambassador for Girls Inc. of the Capital Region, 40 Under 40 by the Albany Business Review and a Rising Star in Politics by U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She resides in Albany’s First Ward with her husband Don.