Rosie Mendez has demonstrated a life-long commitment to her community through her activism, legal advocacy, and government service.
Rosie began her professional career as a tenant organizer and then became a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. Her work with tenants inspired her to enter law school. Upon graduation and being admitted to the Bar, she received an IOLA Legal Services Fellowship and began work at Brooklyn Legal Services representing tenants in housing and welfare matters and counseling community-based organizations. She joined the Legal Services Staff Association and became a member of the United Auto Workers.
Through her professional and volunteer positions at many non-profit organizations, Rosie gained first-hand experience dealing with issues that affect all New Yorkers. She was the director of the People’s Economic Opportunities Project of the Lower East Side, where she developed a loan program to assist small business and property owners. Shfe has held internships with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Legal Action Center, and a judicial internship with Civil Court Judge Richard Rivera. Rosie served as the Public Interest Career Counselor at Rutgers Law School-Newark, where she was responsible for assisting a record number of students in obtaining fellowships in non-profits and public interest law firms.
Rosie served as Democratic District Leader for four terms, and served as Chief of Staff and Legislative Aide to the prior Councilwoman of District 2, Margarita Lopez.
Rosie received her B.A. in Metropolitan Studies and Political Science from New York University, and received her law degree from Rutgers School of Law in Newark. She was a 2003-04 Fellow in the Charles H. Revson Program for the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University. Rosie was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Puerto Rican parents, where she lived in public housing and attended New York City public schools.
In November 2005 Rosie was elected to serve as a member of the New York City Council in the Second District and took office in January 2006 serving the neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, the East Village, Gramercy, and Murray Hill.
Rosie is serving her third term in office. She is the Chair of the LGBT Caucus of the NYC Council.