Melissa Mark-Viverito

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Melissa Mark-Viverito
Melissa Mark-Viverito 2012.jpg
Mark-Viverito in 2012
Speaker of the New York City Council
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 8, 2014
Preceded by Christine Quinn
Member of the New York City Council from the 8th District
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2006
Preceded by Phil Reed
Constituency Manhattan: East Harlem
Bronx: Port Morris
Mott Haven (part)
Personal details
Born (1969-04-01) April 1, 1969 (age 45)
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence East Harlem, New York City, USA
Alma mater Columbia College (B.A.)
Baruch College (M.P.A.)
Profession union and community organizer
Website NYC Council: District 8

Melissa Mark-Viverito (born April 1, 1969) is the Speaker of the New York City Council. She is the member from the Council's 8th District, which currently includes East Harlem, Randalls and Wards Islands, as well as Port Morris and part of Mott Haven in the Bronx. She was elected Speaker on January 8, 2014, succeeding Christine Quinn.[1][2]

Early life and background[edit]

Mark-Viverito was born in the San Juan suburb of Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She came to New York at age 18 to attend college, earning a BA from Columbia University in 1991 and then a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in 1995. She is not married. Her hyphenated last name comes from her late father, Anthony Mark, and the maiden name of her mother, Elizabeth Viverito. Her father was a doctor and a founder of San Pablo Hospital in Bayamón, where her mother still lives.[3]

Mark-Viverito is a former member of Community Board 11, coordinator of the movement Todo Nueva York con Vieques, and president of Mujeres del Barrio.[4] She ran unsuccessfully against Philip Reed for City Council in District 8 in 2003. Before running for City Council, Mark-Viverito was Strategic Organizer for Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an influential health care workers union.[5]

In August 2014, Mark-Viverito publicly disclosed that she is infected with the most common STD, the human papillomavirus.[6]

Political career[edit]

Mark-Viverito was elected to her first term in the City Council in 2005. During her first four years in office, she sponsored and passed several pieces of legislation, regarding tenant harassment, building safety, green buildings, and park conservancies.[7] In January 2009, she criticized the voting record of newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on immigration.[8]

During Mark-Viverito's second term in the Council, she served as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee[9] and as founding Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.[10]

In November 2013, she won re-election to her third term in the Council, and her close ally Bill de Blasio was elected mayor. Soon the New York Daily News cited Mark-Viverito as "the front-runner" for "New York City's second-most powerful political post — Speaker of the City Council."[11] A grassroots effort to boost her Speaker candidacy included social media, fliers, phone banking, and volunteer recruitment.[12] Mark-Viverito was elected City Council Speaker on January 8, 2014,[13] at age 44, becoming the first member of the Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus to hold this position.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M.; Taylor, Kate (January 9, 2014). "Mayoral Ally Elected Speaker, Furthering City’s Liberal Shift". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Kate (December 20, 2013). "A City Councilwoman Not Afraid to Take On Inequality". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lombardi, Frank (March 3, 2011). "Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito of East Harlem is 1 of just 2 female politicians in upper Manhattan". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "NYC Voter Guide: Melissa Mark-Viverito". NYC Campaign Finance Board. 2005. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "NYC Voter Guide: Melissa Mark-Viverito". NYC Campaign Finance Board. 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ Gonen, Yoav (August 18, 2014). "Melissa Mark-Viverito reveals she has 'high-risk' HPV". New York Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Melissa Mark-Viverito: Legislation". Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ Powell, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Gillibrand Hints at a Change of Mind on Immigration". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Council — Stated Meeting of Thursday, January 21, 2010". Supplement to The City Record. January 21, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ Chen, David W. (March 24, 2010). "Dozen Council Members Form a Bloc for Liberals". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ Gonzalez, Juan (November 8, 2013). "Melissa Mark-Viverito leads tough fight for NYC Council speaker". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ Colvin, Jill (November 8, 2013). "Meet Melissa Mark-Viverito's Biggest Fan". New York Observer. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Melissa Mark-Viverito Elected NYC Council Speaker". CBS. January 8, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ Falcón, Angelo (January 22, 2014). "Latinos and the NYC Council: The Impact of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito". National Institute for Latino Policy. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Philip Reed
New York City Council, 8th District
2006–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Christine Quinn
Speaker of the New York City Council
2014–present
Incumbent