Saturday, 20 January 2018

Rosie Méndez: Council member for the 2nd District of the New York City Council

Posted On Wednesday, 26 July 2017 22:42 Written by
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Rosie Méndez Rosie Méndez

Rosie Mendez (born February 28, 1963) is the Council member for the 2nd District of the New York City Council. She is a Democrat.

The district includes all or parts of Chelsea, the East Village, the Flatiron District, Gramercy, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Midtown, Murray Hill, NoHo, and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.


Life and career

Mendez grew up in the Williamsburg Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development. She is the child of Puerto Rican parents, and attended New York City public schools through high school. She graduated from New York Universityand Rutgers School of Law—Newark. Her working and volunteering life has predominantly focused on community service. She began as a tenant organizer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She then worked on citywide housing issues as a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. In 1995, Mendez graduated from law school and worked as an IOLA Legal Services Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. As a legal staff worker she became a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Prior to her election to the Council, Mendez was the Democratic District Leader for her community for four terms. She served for three years as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to her predecessor City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez.

Rosie Mendez is also the Chairperson of the New York City Council's LGBT Caucus.

New York City Council

In 2005, Mendez won the heavily contested Democratic primary for New York City Council's 2nd district. In the heavily Democratic district the primary victory was considered tantamount to election. After a landslide victory in the general election in November 2005, Mendez took office as the 2nd district's Councilwoman in January 2006. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.

Animal Rights

In June 2006, Mendez announced legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The bill received substantial support from other Council Members, including future Mayor Bill de Blasio, future Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, future Public Advocate Leticia James and future Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Mendez, at a rally that year organized by the League of Humane Voters of New York City, told the media "We cannot say we’re an enlightened society when we allow animals to be tortured and abused for entertainment purposes." Though the bill had 25 co-sponsors, Council Speaker Christine Quinn strongly opposed the legislation and the bill died at the end of session. Mendez reintroduced the bill again in 2010 and then again in 2016. By 2016, the stars had aligned and, with the support of Council Member Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the bill received a hearing in October. In June 2017, the bill was voted out of the Health Committee unanimously. On June 21, 2017, the Council passed Mendez's bill by a vote of 43-6.  From the floor of the Council, Mendez thanked her "friend and constituent" John Phillips, who led the campaign to pass the bill and who brought the issue to her attention in 2006. 


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