Ydanis Rodríguez

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Ydanis Rodríguez
NLN Ydanis Rodriguez 2008.jpg
Ydanis Rodriguez speaking at City Hall in 2008. Norm Siegel is on the right.
Member of the New York City Council from the 10th District
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded by Miguel Martinez
Constituency Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights
Personal details
Born June 18, 1965
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Political party Democratic
Residence Marble Hill, United States
Alma mater City College of New York
Profession Teacher
Committees Higher Education, Chair; Transportation; Youth Services; Fire and Criminal Justice Services; Immigration; General Welfare.
Religion Roman Catholic
Website NYC Council: District 10

Ydanis Rodríguez (born June 18, 1965) is a Democratic New York City Council member from the borough of Manhattan[1] and the Chair of the Higher Education Committee.[2] He is very progressive on issues of immigration reform, police brutality, tenants' rights, workers' rights and affordable housing. He is known outside of New York City for his arrest at an Occupy Wall Street rally in November 2011. In New York City he is most known for his advocacy of Public Education and the work in his northern Manhattan community.

Early life and background[edit]

Born in the Dominican Republic, Ydanis moved from his hometown of Licey al Medio to New York City when he was 18 years old. While working as a taxi driver,[3] Rodriguez earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at the City College of New York. He eventually earned his Master's degree in Bilingual Education at CCNY.[citation needed]. While at CCNY, he was instrumental in organizing the system-wide strike in 1991.[clarification needed][citation needed]. Ydanis was a founding teacher at Gregorio Luperón High School in 1992, and he continued to teach there for 14 years.

Political career[edit]

After two unsuccessful attempts to run for City Council in 2001 and 2003, Ydanis ran a successful election campaign in 2009. September 2009 he won the Democratic primary election by over 60 percent against seven other candidates.[4][5]

He represents the Council District 10 [6] which encompasses the neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood and Washington Heights. In January 2010, he was appointed as the chairman of the Higher Education Committee.,[7] and as Chair, Rodríguez has called for more diversity in the faculty of CUNY,[8] more childcare programs for student-parents, and successfully fought to keep CUNY's budget intact during the economic recession. Ydanis Rodriguez has focused on several issues during his time in office. They include education, affordable housing, community health, immigration reform, curbing the NYPD stop and frisk policy and bringing jobs to the northern Manhattan community. [9]

Regarding education, Ydanis has focused on working to improve the number of New York City high school graduates who are college ready. As chair of the Higher Education Committee at the New York City Council, Rodriguez has stressed this issue greatly, particularly with regards to the lack of Black and Latino students deemed "college ready", using test scores, grades and practical application of curriculum. As a former co-founder and teacher in one of the schools in his district, Ydanis takes personal interest in the role education plays in the community. [10]

On housing issues, Ydanis has been a proponent of tenants' rights and has worked to expose slumlords who exploit their residents. One of his accomplishments was working with the tenants of 552 Academy st. in Manhattan and local community groups to have the building turned over from a negligent landlord to CLOTH, a local community organization. He helped to secure funding for a $21.1 million renovation for the building so that residents can finally live comfortable. [11]

Ydanis has also been a strong advocate for affordable housing in northern Manhattan, which has received less than 1% of all new affordable housing units built since 2004. [12] This was most apparent when one of his constituents was diagnosed with renal disease around the same time he lost his job and his apartment. The hospital told him that in order to receive a kidney transplant, the constituent would need to have a permanent place of living. Ydanis Rodriguez worked with NYCHA to find a home for the constituent and his family and he was able to receive the transplant. [13] This situation proved the need for affordable housing in northern Manhattan as there a number of people who face similar predicaments.

Rodriguez also advocates for addressing health concerns in the community through nutritional education and promotion of healthy lifestyles. He has held several events to raise awareness about the high levels of obesity in Washington Heights and to encourage exercise and healthy eating.[14]

Ydanis Rodriguez was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year issue in 2011 celebrating The Protester. He was included for his role in the Occupy Wall Street movement. [15] Ydanis has a long history of community activism and protest and channels this into his work in the community, fighting to ensure services are provided and that northern Manhattan is taken into consideration.

In 2013, Ydanis Rodriguez became the first New York City Council Member in the history of the council to take paternity leave when he welcomed the birth of his new daughter. Rodriguez took two weeks to be with his family and has since been vocal about the need for paid paternity and maternity leave in New York City and nationwide, citing the vast number of countries that have paid family leave. [16]



Ydanis Rodríguez was arrested for a civil disobedience demonstration against the Arizona law requiring police officers to arrest illegal aliens.[17]

Poking incident[edit]

Rodríguez was accused of inappropriately poking a female staffer during an argument, prompting the Council's Standards and Ethics Committee to begin an investigation of the incident,[18][19] but decided against any formal punishment.[20]

Occupy Wall Street[edit]

On, November 15, 2011, Rodriguez was arrested for Obstructing government administration and Disorderly Conduct. He was seen by witnesses bleeding from the head as he was placed in a police car.[21] Rodriguez remained in Zuccotti Park along with about 200 other Occupy Wall Street protestors that refused to leave after Brookfield Properties asked the Bloomberg administration to clear the park for a cleaning.[22] Rodriguez was present at Zuccotti Park, along with several other council members, to observe the actions of the NYPD. The charges against him were dismissed in April 2012 due to a lack of evidence. [23]


  1. ^ "New York City Council - Council Member -Ydanis Rodriguez- District 10". Council.nyc.gov. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  2. ^ "Newbie council members get committee positions, cash perks from City Council speaker Christine Quinn". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ "Welcome ydanis2009.com - BlueHost.com". Ydanis2009.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ "2009 NYC Voter Guide: Candidate Profile: Ydanis Rodriguez". Nyccfb.info. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ "Drumming Up Support in the Heights (Gotham Gazette, Aug 24, 2009)". Gothamgazette.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  6. ^ http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/pdf/maps/co/co10.pdf
  7. ^ "City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ousts arch-rival Charles Barron from education committee". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ "CUNY diversity: While the student body is multihued, two-thirds of faculty is white". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. ^ http://manhattantimesnews.com/APRIL-252012/the-state-of-the-district-is-delivered.html
  10. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120217/washington-heights-inwood/pols-launch-series-improve-college-readiness-upper-manhattan
  11. ^ "New York News, Traffic, Sports, Weather, Photos, Entertainment, and Gossip - Homepage - NY Daily News". Daily News (New York). 
  12. ^ Daily News (New York) http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-08-29/news/33481994_1_new-units-hpd-eric-bederman.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/a-christmas-miracle-when-home-means-life.html
  14. ^ http://www.uptowncollective.com/2012/04/05/first-uptown-games-promote-active-lifestyle-for-local-youths-manhattan-times/
  15. ^ Time. 2011-12-14 http://lightbox.time.com/2011/12/14/person-of-the-year-2011-protesters-2/#30.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130221/washington-heights/ydanis-rodriguez-first-councilman-take-paternity-leave
  17. ^  . "Police Arrest 16 During Immigration Protest". NY1.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  18. ^ "Less fanfare from the Council - El Diario La Prensa NY - noticias de Nueva York". impre.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  19. ^ Editorials (2010-08-08). "Open: Sunlight must shine on secret City Council ethics trials". New York: Assets.nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  20. ^ "New York City Council - Council Member - District: 7". Council.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  21. ^ http://www.knickledger.com/2011/11/hispanic-nyc-city-council-member-injured-from-occupy-wall-street-raid/
  22. ^ "Local Politicians Largely Blast Early Morning Raid Of Occupy Wall Street Camp". NY1.com. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  23. ^ http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/04/04/charges-against-nyc-councilman-dropped-in-occupy-related-arrest/

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Miguel Martinez
New York City Council, 10th District