Bed-Stuy Campaign Against hunger is pleased to honor Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her commitment to generating socioeconomic opportunities and combating systemic inequality.
Melissa Mark-Viverito serves as the Speaker of the New York City Council, the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold citywide office. She worked in local activism, nonprofit organizations and grassroots labor organizing for over a decade before being elected to the City Council in 2005. As Speaker, she has focused on transparency in government and policies that generate socioeconomic opportunity and combat systemic inequality.
As the first woman of color to serve as Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito has focused on increasing opportunity and equality for young women across New York City. In 2015, Speaker Mark-Viverito launched an initiative to address disparities faced by women. This collaboration with policy experts, service providers, philanthropy, City agencies and young women themselves will assess New York City’s efforts to determine how the Council can support gender equality for women in New York City.
In 2011, she was one of four Council Members to pioneer the first-ever Participatory Budgeting process in New York City, a grassroots process by which residents can vote directly to fund locally-developed projects in their communities. Since Mark-Viverito’s speakership, Participatory Budgeting has spread to over twenty-four districts across New York City and funds $32 million in community projects.