A new era of leadership is emerging in New York City, and at the head of it is Melissa Mark-Viverito, who talks with Maria Hinojosa. They discuss the city’s municipal ID program, which has raised concerns from the New York Civil Liberties Union, among others. They also discuss why Mark-Viverito has been vocal about welcoming undocumented immigrants, including child refugees recently arrived from Central America.
Melissa Mark-Viverito currently serves as the Speaker of the New York City Council, the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold a citywide elected position. She represents the 8th District, which includes El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Speaker Mark-Viverito was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She worked for over a decade in local activism, nonprofit organizations and labor before being elected to the City Council in 2005, as the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina to represent her district in the Council.
In 2009, she was elected to her second term in the City Council, during which she served as Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation, the founding Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus and as a member of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. In 2011, she was one of four Council Members to pioneer the first-ever Participatory Budgeting process in New York City.
She is a graduate of Columbia College at Columbia University and Baruch College, City University of New York, where she studied Public Administration through the National Urban Fellows Program
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