ROSIE Mendez

Rosie Mendez Headshot

A life-long New Yorker, Rosie has been serving the people of District 2 for nearly two decades. Rosie is known for her strong advocacy to improve the daily lives of New Yorkers, and to maintain the character and diversity of the communities in our district. She has served as a member of the New York City Council since 2006, is the Chair of Committee on Public Housing, and serves on the Health; Housing & Buildings; Fire & Criminal Justice; Land Use; and Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committees, as well as the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses. Since 2011, Rosie has co-chaired the Women’s Caucus of the NYC Council and has been a member the Budget Negotiating Team.

Rosie has fought to ensure that District 2 remains a place where average New Yorkers can settle and raise families. Rosie has fought for the preservation of affordable housing through sponsoring, passing and voting for bills that strengthen the rights of tenants, prevent phony demolitions of rent stabilized apartments, as well as increase penalties for converting apartments into illegal hotel rooms. Rosie has also secured sustainable tax abatements for housing in buildings that will maintain its apartments permanently affordable and for the rehabilitation of existing affordable units.

As Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, Rosie has led the fight in the Council to preserve and improve services at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) by advocating for appropriate funding support from federal, state and local governments and demanding that the Authority operate in a more transparent, accountable and resident-driven way. In 2012, Rosie worked with Speaker Christine Quinn to create a $10 million initiative to help reduce the repair order backlog. In Fiscal Year 2013 (July 2012-June 2013), NYCHA completed 211,131 repairs with the City Council funding and created over 200 additional caretaker jobs. During this year’s budget, Rosie partnered with her colleagues to keep the doors open at 107 NYCHA operated senior and community centers, which were originally slated for closure this summer. She secured $9M for the installation of layered access and CCTV security cameras in District 2 and was instrumental in getting NYCHA to utilize over $47M that was allocated by Councilmembers for security cameras throughout the five boroughs.

Rosie is a champion of civil rights, and has fought to ensure that no New Yorkers are discriminated against based on race, sexual orientation, gender, and/or age. Recently, Rosie was instrumental in the fight for the Community Safety Act, two bills to reform stop-and-frisk, end racial profiling and create an Independent Inspector General within the NYPD that will review police practices and procedures. The bills passed with a veto-proof majority, and Rosie is working to ensure that the City Council will override the mayoral veto.

Rosie has worked to improve the health of all New Yorkers, through sponsoring a bill to reduce asthma-causing toxins, co-sponsoring another bill that would have kept so-called ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ from posing as legitimate medical care facilities to women, and leading the fight for a resolution in support of HIV research.

Rosie is a strong advocate for public transportation, recognizing the vital role of buses and trains in her constituents’ daily lives. Rosie is a strong supporter of the M15 and M34 SBS, and has fought hard against proposed bus cuts. Rosie has supported the creation of bike lanes throughout her district, including protected lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues, and she is happy to have CitiBike stations in her district.

Rosie’s representational style is one that always places the concerns of her constituents first. Rosie is often found on the street, or on a park bench listening to the concerns of residents and taking these issues back to City government and making it work for us. Rosie prides herself on an innate ability to address and resolve the problems of her constituents and both she and her staff are proud of her record resolving issues, from getting action on NYCHA repairs to making sure our streets and parks are clean—from preserving affordable apartments to making sure that those entitled to benefits are receiving them.

Before her election to the City Council, Rosie served as the Female District Leader for the Lower East Side for four terms, and was the Chief of Staff to Council Member Margarita Lopez. She was instrumental in the campaigns to save St. Brigid’s Church, to landmark the Old PS 64 building formerly known as CHARAS, and to prevent the expansion of Con Edison’s East River Plant. Rosie was also on the Board of Directors of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union.

Rosie was born to Puerto Rican emigrants in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she lived in public housing and attended New York City public schools. Rosie received her B.A. in Metropolitan Studies and Political Science from New York University, and received her law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She received an IOLA Legal Services Fellowship, and was a 2003-04 Fellow in the Charles H. Revson Program for the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University, as well as an 2011 Bohnett Fellow who studied State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.