New York, NY – Melissa Mark-Viverito made NYC history Wednesday as she was elected in a 51-0 vote to become the first Latino council speaker. The position is often considered as the second most powerful in city government, as she will have the power to push or block the Mayor's policies and programs.
In a city council where women represent only 27% of the members, on par with the low national average of female politicians, Mark-Viverito's selection stands out not only because she's the first Latina to hold this position, but following fellow Democrat Christine Quinn before her, she's only the second woman to hold this position.
Mark-Viverito is the city councilwoman for District 8, which includes East Harlem and the South Bronx. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended both Columbia University and CUNY's Baruch University before beginning her career in Politics and Community Activism. She is also a founding member of Women of El Barrio.