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 Inwood, United States
Alma mater City College of New York
Profession Teacher
Committees Transportation, Chair; Finance; Land Use; Housing and Buildings; Rules, Privileges and Elections; Higher Education[1]
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[2] and the Chair of the Transportation Committee.[3] He is very progressive and vocal on issues of transit equity, 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 related to public education, his support for a taxi bailout, and his work in the 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,[4] 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].

Early career[edit]

In 1992, Rodriguez helped to found Gregorio Luperon High School, a school dedicated to the success of immigrant families, where he became a public high school teacher. Rodriguez began his activism in the Dominican Republic fighting for a new school in his hometown, Licey Al-medio, and continued during his tenure at City College, working to fight against tuition increases and budget cuts through student government.

With his fellow teachers, students, and community members, he advocated for increased school capacity and higher quality facilities. He took the fight to City Hall, resulting in the construction of a new state of the art facility to house Gregorio Luperon High School.[citation needed]

Rodriguez continued to advocate for Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill, such as working with the Straphangers Campaign to oppose public transit fare increases, exposed abusive and corrupt landlords with tenant associations, and founded a program which provides access to academic and extra-curricular resources to first generation high school and pre-high school students and their families.[5]

New York City Council[edit]

After two unsuccessful attempts to run for City Council in 2001 and 2003, Rodriguez ran a successful election campaign in 2009, winning the Democratic primary election by over 60 percent against seven other candidates.[6][7]

First Term[edit]

Higher Education[edit]

In January 2010, Rodriguez was appointed as the chairman of the Higher Education Committee,[8] and as Chair, Rodríguez has called for more diversity in the faculty of CUNY,[9] more childcare programs for student-parents, and successfully fought to keep CUNY's budget intact during the economic recession. Rodriguez 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.[10]

As Chair, Rodriguez focused on working to improve the number of New York City high school graduates who are college ready, particularly 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, Rodriguez took a personal interest in the role education plays in the community.[11]


Rodriguez also advocated for affordable housing in Northern Manhattan, which has received less than 1% of all new affordable housing units built since 2004.[12]

Rodriguez worked 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.[13] The building reopened to the public after the renovation, welcoming home the 32 original families to return as well as 42 new tenants. Also thanks to funding from the New York City Council, the building has one of the few green roofs in Inwood.[14]

Notable achievements[edit]

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, Rodriguez became the first New York City Council Member to ever 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]

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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] Rodriguez then sued the city for issues related to his arrest and received a $30,000 settlement which he then donated to the Center for Constitutional Rights.[21]


  1. ^ http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140122/BLOGS04/140129946/city-council-committee-chairs-named
  2. ^ "New York City Council - Council Member -Ydanis Rodriguez- District 10". Council.nyc.gov. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. ^ http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140122/BLOGS04/140129946/city-council-committee-chairs-named
  4. ^ "Welcome ydanis2009.com - BlueHost.com". Ydanis2009.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ http://council.nyc.gov/d10/html/members/biography.shtml
  6. ^ "2009 NYC Voter Guide: Candidate Profile: Ydanis Rodriguez". Nyccfb.info. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ "Drumming Up Support in the Heights (Gotham Gazette, Aug 24, 2009)". Gothamgazette.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ "City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ousts arch-rival Charles Barron from education committee". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ http://manhattantimesnews.com/APRIL-252012/the-state-of-the-district-is-delivered.html
  11. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120217/washington-heights-inwood/pols-launch-series-improve-college-readiness-upper-manhattan
  12. ^ "Calls for affordable housing in Washington Hts". Daily News (New York). 2012-08-30. 
  13. ^ Italic text9/news/33104841_1_tenants-fire-trucks-apartment/2 "New York News, Traffic, Sports, Weather, Photos, Entertainment, and Gossip - Homepage - NY Daily News". Daily News (New York). 
  14. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150417/inwood/once-crumbling-inwood-building-welcomes-back-tenants-after-22m-renovation
  15. ^ Witty, Patrick (2011-12-14). "The Protester: A Portfolio by Peter Hapak". Time. 
  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. ^ http://www.knickledger.com/2011/11/hispanic-nyc-city-council-member-injured-from-occupy-wall-street-raid/
  19. ^ "Local Politicians Largely Blast Early Morning Raid Of Occupy Wall Street Camp". NY1.com. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  20. ^ http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/04/04/charges-against-nyc-councilman-dropped-in-occupy-related-arrest/
  21. ^ http://observer.com/2015/03/councilman-arrested-at-occupy-wall-street-donates-his-settlement-cash/

External links[edit]

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