Rosie Mendez (born 28 February 1963 in New York) is an American Democratic Party politician in New York. She is a member of the New York City Council from Manhattan, representing the 2nd Council District, which includes the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, Manhattan.
Life and career
Rosie Mendez took office as the Councilmember in Manhattan’s Second District as of January 2006.
Rosie's entire working and volunteer life has been dedicated to community service. She began as a tenant organizer in her native Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She then worked on citywide housing issues as a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. In 1995 she graduated from law school and went to work as an IOLA Legal Services Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. As a legal staff worker she became a member of the United Auto Workers Union.
Prior to her election to the Council, Rosie was the Democratic District Leader for her community for four terms, and for three years served as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to her predecessor City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez.
A lifelong New Yorker, Rosie grew up in Williamsburg Houses, an NYC Housing Authority development. She is the child of Puerto Rican parents, and she attended New York City public schools from elementary through high school. She graduated from New York University and Rutgers Law School - Newark.
In her first year in office, Rosie's accomplishments made toward her original district priorities are as follows:
Preserving affordable housing for low and middle income New Yorkers by introducing the legislation necessary to renew rent regulations in New York City and an introducing a bill requiring owners of large residential complexes with a substantial number of rent-regulated units to notify the city and study the impact on the City's affordable housing stock before putting their buildings up for sale.
Protecting tenants in public housing by securing $20 million to offset a multi-million dollar deficit in the New York City Housing Authority's budget. As Chairwoman of the City Council's Public Housing Subcommittee, Mendez has reviewed issues such as rent and fee increases, Section 8 funding, community service requirements, and public safety.
Standing with her constituents to obtain recognition by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and to fight the destruction of historic and culturally significant buildings, including the former PS 64 (CHARAS), St. Brigid's Church and the Horse Auction Mart. This year 2 Park Avenue and the former PS 64 were Landmarked, but the fight to preserve the former PS 64 and the neighboring St. Brigid's Church continues.
Working with the Department of Buildings to implement the Lower East Side Special Enforcement Program to prevent unscrupulous landlords and developers from disregarding laws that control building size or jeopardizing the safety and peaceful occupancy of residents. This program targets projects where tenements are being altered in an unsafe or illegal manner or where after hours construction is taking place.
Improving the quality of life for her constituents by cracking down on noisy bars and sidewalk cafes. With an unprecedented level of critical support from the NYS Liquor Authority, Councilwoman Mendez and others have made nightlife establishments more accountable to the community. Liquor licenses and sidewalk café permits, the latter of which require City Council review, are less routinely issued.
- Catching a Break in Chelsea Gay City News, 2007-04-19
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