Melissa Mark-Viverito: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Melissa Mark-Viverito


New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced on Twitter that she has high-risk HPV. It sparked a flood of comments on social media, with people admiring her courage and opening up a conversation on STDs.

Here’s what you should know about Mark-Viverito and her brave public announcement.

1. She Revealed She Has High-Risk HPV, Which Can Lead to Cancer

She sent the above tweet on Sunday, and her aides told the Daily News that she went public with the news to try to raise awareness.

HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease that has the potential to cause cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “there are more than 40 different strains of HPV that specifically affect the genital area. Most HPV infections don’t lead to cancer, but some types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix.”

2. She’s the City Council Speaker in NYC

Mark-Viverito was elected to the position in January at the age of 44. Her job entails representing District 8, which includes El Barrio/East Harlem, Manhattan Valley and Mott Haven.

According to their website, the New York City Council “monitors the operation and performance of city agencies, makes land use decisions and has sole responsibility for approving the city’s budget. It also legislates on a wide range of other subjects. The Council is an equal partner with the Mayor in the governing of New York City.”

3. She’s a Puerto Rican Native & the First Latina to Hold a Citywide Elected Position

melissa viverito


She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 2005, she became the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina elected to serve as council member for the 8th Council District.

She left Puerto Rico to attend Columbia University. After graduation, she went on to further her education at Baruch College, studying Public Administration through the National Urban Fellows Program.

4. She Founded Women of El Barrio

According to the Nation, it is “an organization that promotes the development of women as leaders in the economic, political and social life of their community.”

5. She Writes a Blog

One entry said:

On at least one Friday each month, I will visit a business, community center, outdoor location or other destination in the district and invite all of my constituents to join me.