|Mark-Viverito in 2012|
|Speaker of the New York City Council|
January 8, 2014
|Preceded by||Christine Quinn|
|Member of the New York City Council from the 8th District|
January 1, 2006
|Preceded by||Phil Reed|
|Constituency||Manhattan: East Harlem
Bronx: Port Morris
Mott Haven (part)
April 1, 1969 |
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
|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. Described by The New York Times as "fiercely liberal", she was elected Speaker on January 8, 2014, succeeding Christine Quinn.
Early life and education
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 degree from Columbia University in 1991 and then a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in 1995. 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.
Before running for City Council, Mark-Viverito served as a member of Community Board 11, coordinator of the movement Todo Nueva York con Vieques, president of Mujeres del Barrio, and Strategic Organizer for Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an influential health care workers union.
After running unsuccessfully against Phil Reed for City Council in District 8 in 2003, Mark-Viverito was elected to the position when Reed reached his term limit in 2005. During her first four years in office, Mark-Viverito sponsored and passed several pieces of legislation regarding tenant harassment, building safety, greening buildings, and park conservancies. In January 2009, she criticized the voting record of newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on immigration.
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." A grassroots effort to boost her Speaker candidacy included social media, fliers, phone banking, and volunteer recruitment. Mark-Viverito was elected City Council Speaker on January 8, 2014, at age 44, becoming the first member of the Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus to hold this position. Her first "State of the City" speech emphasized reform of the criminal justice system.
She is not married.
- Grynbaum, Michael M.; Taylor, Kate (January 9, 2014). "Mayoral Ally Elected Speaker, Furthering City’s Liberal Shift". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Taylor, Kate (December 20, 2013). "A City Councilwoman Not Afraid to Take On Inequality". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- 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.
- "NYC Voter Guide: Melissa Mark-Viverito". NYC Campaign Finance Board. 2005. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "NYC Voter Guide: Melissa Mark-Viverito". NYC Campaign Finance Board. 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Melissa Mark-Viverito: Legislation". Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Powell, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Gillibrand Hints at a Change of Mind on Immigration". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "The Council — Stated Meeting of Thursday, January 21, 2010" (PDF). Supplement to The City Record. January 21, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Chen, David W. (March 24, 2010). "Dozen Council Members Form a Bloc for Liberals". New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Gonzalez, Juan (November 8, 2013). "Melissa Mark-Viverito leads tough fight for NYC Council speaker". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Colvin, Jill (November 8, 2013). "Meet Melissa Mark-Viverito's Biggest Fan". New York Observer. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Falcón, Angelo (January 22, 2014). "Latinos and the NYC Council: The Impact of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito" (PDF). National Institute for Latino Policy. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Grynbaum, Michael M. (February 12, 2015). "Council Speaker Seeks Criminal Justice Reforms in State of the City Address". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Gonen, Yoav (August 18, 2014). "Melissa Mark-Viverito reveals she has 'high-risk' HPV". New York Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- Official NYC Council Website about Melissa Mark-Viverito
- Official Blog about Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
|New York City Council, 8th District
|Speaker of the New York City Council