City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito was selected today as the next Speaker of the New York City Council by a unanimous vote, becoming the first Latina citywide elected official in New York City’s history.
Democrat Daniel Garodnick, Mark-Viverito’s sole rival for the position, dropped out of the election moments before the council’s vote and threw his support behind Mark-Viverito.
“In the spirit of strengthening the Council, which animated my candidacy from the start, I now formally concede to the next Speaker of the City Council — my colleague Melissa Mark-Viverito,” Garodnick said in a statement.
As a favorite of Mayor bill de Blasio who took the unusual step of even calling council members to advocate on her behalf, Mark-Viverito was considered far and away to be the front-runner in the race, and would have had enough votes regardless of Garodnick’s concession.
City Councilmember Rob Cornegy (D-36) who represents the Brooklyn districts of Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy said he was very excited about the results of this election, particularly since he was the one tasked to second her nomination. “And I did that with great pride, said Cornegy. “As we become increasingly more majority-minority we need to have leadership that represents that shift. And she has an agenda that speaks to the undeserved and those that are marginalized.”
Assemblyman Walter Mosley said Mark-Viverito has the experience, compassion and tenacity New Yorkers need to take the city in a more progressive direction – one that will focus on investing in affordable housing, creating new jobs with fair wages, and ensuring working families get the support they need.
“I would also like to thank Council Member Garodnick for his tremendous public service and commitment to uniting communities across New York City,” said Mosley. “I look forward to continuing to work with the new Speaker and my colleagues in the City Council to make our city a more equitable place for all New Yorkers.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “On behalf of One Brooklyn, I would like to congratulate our new Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on her election as the first Latina citywide elected official in New York City’s history.
“She has a record of experience as a progressive activist and legislator that we can all be proud of, working on issues near and dear to Brooklynites like affordable housing, fair wages and civil rights.”
Adams added that he looked forward to working with Viverito and the Brooklyn delegation of the New York City Council in the coming term to build a better borough and city.
Mark-Viverito said the race was difficult at times, which is why she appreciated even more the council’s overall show of unity.
“We will work together because that is what New Yorkers expect and that is what New Yorkers deserve,” Mark-Viverito said.