I was raised in public housing where my mother, a homeless services provider, and my father, a Teamster, instilled in me the values of community service and political engagement. After entering public service as an activist fighting for equal rights and advocating for tenant protection, I served in my local community board and eventually became the youngest person to chair a community board in the five boroughs.
I was elected to the Council in 2013. After my first term, my fellow Council Members elected me to lead the Council as Speaker in 2017. As Speaker, I fought to protect low-income tenants facing eviction, implemented reduced price MetroCards for New Yorkers living in poverty, and led the fight for historic criminal justice reforms. After COVID hit, the Council passed legal protections for small businesses and tenants, opened streets to pedestrians, and created the city's wildly successful outdoor dining program.
Our city needs leadership that’s always fighting to do the most good for the people who need it most, and I will never stop working to make life better for all New Yorkers.