Melissa Mark-Viverito: A First!

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Melissa Mark-Viverito: A First!

By Senator Adriano Espaillat

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Senator Adriano Espaillat

Over the past months, Melissa Mark-Viverito has run an impressive and transparent bid to be the next Speaker of the New York City Council, the second most powerful position in city government.

Along the way, the East Harlem Council Member has shared her progressive vision for moving our community forward, and addressed vital issues for Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, including affordable housing, education, and reforming stop and risk policing policy.

Mark-Viverito’s hard work and demonstrated commitment to helping all New Yorkers has paid off. She’s put together a remarkable coalition, including 30 of her colleagues from all 5 boroughs, and earned the support of advocates dedicated to helping our city’s vulnerable.

Now, on the cusp of making history, as the first citywide Latino official ever, Council Member Mark-Viverito has been subjected to baseless, hateful and xenophobic attacks that are deeply offensive to all New Yorkers.

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New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito

Mark-Viverito’s detractors have employed tired, brazenly offensive slurs that have been used against the Latino community throughout our history. While these efforts have been unsuccessful; have only solidified her support, it still marks a low-point in a year when we are poised to achieve change and take action on issues that New Yorkers overwhelmingly demanded in 2013. New Yorkers are demanding new progressive leadership.

Council Member Mark-Viverito has demonstrated remarkable intelligence and calm during this process, and proven her ability to be an independent leader for New York City. As we begin a new era in government, I am proud to support her historic candidacy.

This week, Melissa Mark-Viverito will be selected as the next Council Speaker by vote of her peers, and will continue her work fighting for affordable housing and low-income families, as she has done her entire career.