A Puerto Rican native and graduate of Columbia and Baruch Universities, Melissa Mark-Viverito is the first Latina Speaker of the New York City Council. In her leadership role, Speaker Mark-Viverito spearheads policies to protect vulnerable populations and uplift New Yorkers in all five boroughs. First elected as Council member in 2003 to represent East Harlem, Speaker Mark-Viverito has supported legislation to combat sex trafficking in New York City, launched the nation’s first Young Women’s Initiative to tackle gender inequality, and has earmarked nearly a million dollars in funding to assist survivors of human trafficking.
“Human trafficking has no place in our city and in our world. No one should be exploited and deprived of their freedom. It is our collective responsibility to end this abominable crime now.”