Rosie Méndez

Rosie Méndez (born February 28, 1963) is an American politician who served in the New York City Council from the 2nd district from 2006 to 2017. She is a Democrat.

Rosie Méndez
Rosie Mendez 2011 CROPPED.png
Méndez in 2011
Member of the New York City Council
from the 2nd district
In office
January 1, 2006 – December 31, 2017
Preceded byMargarita Lopez
Succeeded byCarlina Rivera
Personal details
Born (1963-02-28) February 28, 1963 (age 59)
New York City, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materNew York University
Rutgers Law School
WebsiteOfficial website

The district includes all or parts of Chelsea, the East Village, the Flatiron District, Gramercy, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Midtown, Murray Hill, NoHo, and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.

Early life and educationEdit

Méndez grew up in the Williamsburg Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development. She is the child of Puerto Rican parents, and attended New York City public schools through high school. She graduated from New York University and Rutgers Law School. In 2011, Méndez completed Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government as a David Bohnett LGBTQ Victory Institute Leadership Fellow.


Her working and volunteering life has predominantly focused on community service. She began as a tenant organizer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She then worked on citywide housing issues as a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. In 1995, Méndez graduated from law school and worked as an IOLA Legal Services Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. As a legal staff worker she became a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Prior to her election to the Council, Méndez was the Democratic District Leader for her community for four terms. She served for three years as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to her predecessor City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez.

New York City CouncilEdit

In 2005, Méndez won the heavily contested Democratic primary for New York City's 2nd City Council district. In the heavily Democratic district, the primary victory was considered tantamount to election. After a landslide victory in the general election in November 2005, Méndez took office as the 2nd district's councilwoman in January 2006. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.

Animal rightsEdit

In June 2006, Méndez announced legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.[1] The bill received substantial support from other Council Members, including future Mayor Bill de Blasio, future Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, future Public Advocate Leticia James and future Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Méndez, at a rally that year organized by the League of Humane Voters of New York City, told the media "We cannot say we’re an enlightened society when we allow animals to be tortured and abused for entertainment purposes." Though the bill had 25 co-sponsors,[2] Council Speaker Christine Quinn strongly opposed the legislation and the bill died at the end of session. Méndez reintroduced the bill again in 2010[3] and then again in 2016. By 2016, the stars had aligned and, with the support of Council Member Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the bill received a hearing in October. In June 2017, the bill was voted out of the Health Committee unanimously. On June 21, 2017, the Council passed Méndez's bill by a vote of 43-6.[4] From the floor of the Council, Méndez thanked her "friend and constituent" John Phillips, who led the campaign to pass the bill and who brought the issue to her attention in 2006.[5][6]

Election historyEdit

New York City Council District 2: Results 2005 to 2013
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2005 Rosie Méndez 21,341 80% John Carlino 4,805 18% Claudia Flanagan Liberal 686 2%
2009 Rosie Méndez 19,952 85% Bryan A. Cooper 3,772 15%
2013 Rosie Méndez 20,419 92% Miles Budde Green 1,490 7%

Personal lifeEdit

Méndez is openly lesbian (or gay cis gender female)[7] and was also the Chairperson of the New York City Council's LGBT Caucus.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David Spett (20 June 2006). "Mendez cracks whip on use of wild animals in circuses". The Villager. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  2. ^ "The New York City Council - File #: Int 0389-2006". Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  3. ^ "The New York City Council - File #: Int 0049-2010". 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  4. ^ "The New York City Council - Meeting of City Council on 6/21/2017 at 1:30 PM". Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  5. ^ Madina Toure (2017-06-21). "NYC Council Votes to Ban Use of Wild Animals in Circus Performances". Observer. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  6. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "New York pols' coming out stories | CSNY". 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  8. ^ "LGBT Caucus". Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-04-13.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by New York City Council, 2nd district
Succeeded by