NEW YORK — Today the National Organization for Women – New York City endorsed Melissa Mark-Viverito for Public Advocate. In their endorsement, NOW-NYC praised Mark-Viverito’s track record of success fighting for women’s rights. Mark-Viverito recently released plans for a Worst Workplaces for Women Watchlist to combat sexual harassment, pay gaps, gender disparities in hiring and more in city workplaces.

“NOW is proud to endorse Melissa Mark-Viverito to be New York City’s next Public Advocate. She has the track record and tenacity to be an effective advocate leader for all of us. She will fight for our rights and take every opportunity to stand up for equality and justice,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women – NYC.

“As a proud feminist, I’m honored to receive the endorsement of NOW-NYC. From launching the Young Women’s Initiative to founding 21 in ‘21 to fighting for reproductive justice, I have always stood up for women in this city. Right now, we have three white men in every citywide office—and in a city as diverse as New York, we deserve leaders that look like the people they serve. It’s time for a progressive woman to have a seat at the table. I will never stop fighting for women, immigrants, and working families and demanding equality and justice,” said Public Advocate candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Record: A Champion for Women

Melissa Mark-Viverito has been a strong champion for women since day one. After making history as the first woman of color and Latina to become Speaker of the City Council, she has lead the fight for women’s rights and increased gender diversity in New York City.

  • Young Women’s Initiative: Melissa established the $20 million Young Women’s Initiative which helped to expand the Nurse-Family Partnership.

  • Free Menstrual Products in Schools, Shelters, and Jails: Melissa cosponsored legislation to fund free tampons and pads for New York City schools, shelters, and jails.

  • Founded 21 in ‘21 Initiative: As Speaker, Melissa cofounded 21 in ‘21, an initiative to elect at least 21 women to the 51-member NYC Council by 2021.

  • Champion for Reproductive Healthcare: Melissa has always supported a woman’s right to choose. In the Council, Melissa supported legislation to protect women from fraudulent anti-abortion pregnancy service centers by imposing fines and regulation against misleading women seeking abortions, created a new sexual education task force, and advocated for free birth control for New York City residents.

  • Office to Protect Domestic Workers: Melissa established the Division of Paid Care within the Office of Labor Standards to support the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who work in home care and child care.

  • Lactation Rooms in City Buildings: Under Melissa’s leadership, the Council passed a bill to require many city buildings to have lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers.

  • Funded Improved Locker Rooms for Female Sanitation Workers: When female sanitation workers had too few locker rooms of their own, Melissa added funding in the budget for upgrades and new facilities.

  • Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Support Programs: Melissa added 6.6 million dollars to the budget for support services for survivors of domestic violence, including prevention and outreach efforts.

Melissa’s Vision: Worst Workplaces for Women Watchlist

As Public Advocate, Melissa will continue fighting for women in New York City by launching the  Worst Workplaces for Women Watchlist to combat sexual harassment, pay gaps, gender disparities in hiring and more in city workplaces. If elected, Melissa will be the only woman in citywide leadership.