New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was elected to the City Council in January 2006 to serve as Council Member for the 8th Council District. Melissa is the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina elected to represent her district. During her first term, Melissa has sponsored several local laws to address tenant harassment and promote construction safety. Prior to her election to the City Council, Melissa worked for the 1199 SEIU New York's Health Care Union, as well as several community organizations and political campaigns. Besides her professional life, Melissa has been very active in community affairs, founding Women of El Barrio—an organization that promotes the development of women as leaders in the economic, political and social life of their community.
As New York City struggles with continued foreclosures, an anemic economy and large deficits, we hear constant calls to balance the budget on the backs of those most in need. But we believe that the city can plan a recovery that narrows the growing economic divide.