Yesterday, Melissa Mark-Viverito, the councilwoman of New York City’s eighth district, became city-council speaker. Strong-armed in by Mayor Bill de Blasio, she is an ardent leftist whose “outspokenness against inequality matches, if it does not sometimes exceed” the new mayor’s, as the New York Times put it. From my piece on New York’s newest progressive leader:
[Mark-Viverito] helped found and now co-chairs the Progressive Caucus of the city council — the farthest-left group in the legislature — and, with the Progressive Caucus, has advocated for the expansion of prevailing-wage requirements, the raising of the minimum wage, and higher taxes on the wealthy.
She was also an active participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement, which she said “inspired” her. “We are the 99 percent,” she said at an Occupy rally in November 2011. “We represent the 99 percent. We are representing people that have been impacted by the corporate greed, by the 1 percent.”