Dear Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

Recently, I was made aware that confederate flags were hung in the windows of an apartment building in my district. It saddens me that a symbol of hate and oppression would be displayed in my district—a multi-ethnic district that is comprised of and embraces its racial and economic diversity. More troubling is that these flags remain in display after the tragic and fatal events that occurred in Charlottesville this weekend.

I am concerned as I am hearing that local community residents are upset by the display and are taking some matters into their own hands. There have been reports made to my office of counter actions taking place at the residence that are alarming and illegal. You can voice your displeasure, but you cannot throw objects at the windows, to the building or block anyone’s entrance or exit to the building.

While this display may be offensive to many of us, please know that each and every one of us has rights and protections under the United States Constitution. We all have a First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Displaying a flag, in and of itself, is not illegal and there are no legal actions that can be taken to have this individual remove the flags from his/her windows. However, there are limitations to our First Amendment Right to Free Speech and if this individual steps outside of those limitations, then local law enforcement can take the next necessary steps.

I want to remind everyone that this is a multiple dwelling building. Many other individuals, families with children, live in this building and are probably equally offended by the display. I ask that you please respect and support your neighbors who reside in this building and who unfortunately live next to this individual.

While I do not know nor do I have any contact with this individual, I respectfully request for everyone’s safety that s/he take down this flag—a symbol that is so offensive to the surrounding community.

To my neighbors, I hope you continue to exercise your First Amendment Right as we traditionally do in this community, but we must do it within the letter of the law. Please do not exceed or violate what is permitted expressions of free speech.

Lastly, my staff and I have been in contact with the local precinct and we have been informed that the situation is being monitored.


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Rosie Mendez

Councilwoman, District 2



Nuyorican Poets Cafe 4th Annual Block Party

Event Name: Nuyorican Poets Cafe 4th Annual Block Party

Web Page:

Date and Time: Saturday, August 26; 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: Nuyorican Poets Cafe; 236 East 3rd St. New York, NY 10009

Event Description: Get ready for a full day of FREE fun at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s Block Party! It will be a day to remember for all ages, featuring live hip hop, a DJ, poetry, games, inflatables, rides, and food! In partnership with the Lower East Side Family Union, The Nuyo will host this exciting 4th annual event on Saturday, August 26th from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information, contact

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New York City Council Passes Stand for Tenant Safety Legislative Package to End Construction as Harassment


“I am proud to stand with the STS Coalition and my Council colleagues. For far too long some of the city’s worst property owners have used devious, despicable tactics, as well as construction renovations to harass and intimidate tenants. Tenants living in buildings that are undergoing substantial construction usually do not know where to turn. Therefore, the passage of the “Safe Construction Bill of Rights” legislation would require landlords to provide tenants prior notice of significant construction projects and periodic updates about the status of such construction projects. I believe this is common sense legislation and its passage will demonstrate that New York City will ensure that construction is safe with tenants in place and that tenants will be informed. The overall impact of this legislative package is that New York City will be the best and safest place to live.” – Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, sponsor of Intro 960.



CONTACT: Seth Hoy,, (212) 416-0156


Commission charges centers with gender identity discrimination under the NYC Human Rights Law, including refusing to admit transgender patients, assigning rooms according to patients’ gender assigned at birth rather than their gender identity, and subjecting patients to physical exams to determine gender identity

NEW YORK – The NYC Commission on Human Rights announces today four complaints filed against substance abuse centers across the City for discriminatory policies involving the intake of transgender patients. The complaints, which the Commission filed on behalf of the City, were the result of proactive testing conducted by the Commission following reports of discrimination from advocates. The centers include Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (Brooklyn), Addicts Rehabilitation Center (Manhattan), Promesa Residential Health Care Facility (Bronx), and the Thomas and Marie White Health Center (Queens).

The Commission’s complaints, filed by its Law Enforcement Bureau, charge the centers with gender identity discrimination for refusing to accept transgender patients and for discriminatory housing policies, including assigning rooms based on a patient’s gender assigned at birth rather than their gender identity, subjecting patients to physical examinations, and forcing transgender patients into separate rooms. The substance abuse centers involved in these investigations have been notified of the alleged violations and the Commission continues the investigations.

“It is a sad reality that transgender New Yorkers continue to face discrimination when they seek services or utilize public accommodations,” said Councilwoman and Chair of the LGBT Caucus, Rosie Mendez. “It is reprehensible to think that social service providers at substance abuse treatment centers are denying services to anyone who is seeking assistance. Furthermore, it’s offensive that these providers are denying services to the transgender community. I want to thank the NYC Human Rights Commission for investigating the claims of transgender individuals who sought and were denied services. Our city does not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind and I am grateful that our agencies continue to hold institutions accountable for their actions.”






Contact: John Blasco, (212) 677-1077,


After 11 years Intro 1233, which would ban wild or exotic animal circus performances in New York City has passed in the New York City Council

New York – On Wednesday, June 21st 2017 New York City Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Corey Johnson passed their bill Intro 1233, a bill to ban exotic animals in circuses, by a vote of 43-6-0 with another 34 councilmembers as co-sponsors and the Public Advocate Letitia James. Councilmember Mendez celebrated this victory with her colleagues and advocates who have been in the forefront of this 11 year journey: constituent and activist John Philips, The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Defenders International and many others.

Councilwoman Rosie Mendez first introduced the legislation in April of 2006. Intro 1233 has always been about the safety of animals and humans. The conditions in traveling circuses, including constant travel, limited facilities, long periods of restricted movement, separation from natural groupings, stress, and physical coercion inevitably compromise the welfare of animals, which can lead to abnormal behavior and increased risks to the public. Banning the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and shows is the most efficient way to safeguard both animal welfare and public safety. The passage of this bill will add New York City to the list of 125 localities in 34 states across the country that have enacted partial or full bans on circus animals.

“It has been a little over 11 years that I first introduced legislation that would ban the display of wild or exotic animals,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. “We had our first hearing on October 20th, 2016 and since then Council Member Corey Johnson and I worked with NYC Council attorneys to address issues raised in the hearing. Intro 1233 is and always has been about the safety and security of animals, as well as and human beings. This legislation will ensure that animals are in their natural state, not confined in small boxcars and/or treated in other inhumane ways. Equally important, human beings will be safe from animals that may act ferociously.”

“We now know more about the proper treatment of wild and exotic animals than we did in the past,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “Entertainment alone is not an excuse to put these animals through more than they ever should have to endure. As a City, it’s easy to say that we value the proper treatment of animals. The difficult part is ensuring that the proper safeguards are in place to prevent animal mistreatment. I thank Council Member Rosie Mendez for her leadership on this issue, as well as our colleagues in the Council and countless advocates who have joined with us in this effort.”

“Eleven years ago when this bill was first introduced, no one dreamed Ringling Bros. would go out of business, or that cities all over the world would be enacting bans on the use of wild animals in the circus. It was because of compassionate, pioneering officials like Council Member Rosie Mendez that the tide shifted,” said John Phillips, a prominent animal rights activist who brought the issue to the Council Member’s attention in 2006 and led the grassroots campaign to pass Intro 1233. “With the passage of this historic bill, the largest city in the United States is standing up for the rights of wild animals and saying no to the beatings and captivity that they’ve long endured. The next chapter in NYC history will be a kinder one.”

“New York City has taken a major step forward for animals by ending the use of tigers, elephants, and other wild animals in circuses. There is an ugly and unpleasant back story for all of these animals in traveling circuses. The HSUS applauds City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, for championing this path-breaking effort and seeking to close this chapter in our mistreatment of animals,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the Unites States

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Animal Defenders International thanks Councilmember Mendez for her years of dedication and determination to protect wild animals and the public. ADI has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of wild animals in circuses, and applauds the New York City Council for its leadership in prohibiting these cruel and dangerous acts.”

“Wild animals have been suffering in New York City circuses since 1794, when monkeys were forced to perform at Ricketts Circus on Broadway. Council Members Rosie Mendez and Corey Johnson have made history—and made New York a much more civilized city,” said Dan Mathews, PETA’s Senior Vice President of Campaigns.

“The Humane Society of New York applauds the NYC Council for helping to make NYC a more humane city for all of us– two and four legged– by passing legislation to end the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses. Special thanks to Councilmember Rosie Mendez for her persistence and leadership. Wild and exotic animals used in entertainment suffer psychologically and physically from continuous confinement, cruel training, and being forced to perform acts totally unnatural to their species,” said Elinor Molbegott, Esq., Legal Counsel, Humane Society of New York.

“New Yorkers recognize that circus animal acts aren’t entertaining, they’re cruel,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We applaud Council Member Mendez’ tenacity in her long battle to ensure that wild and exotic animals are protected from the misery and indignity that public performance entails.”

“Big Cat Rescue strongly supports the passage of Intro 1233. This crucial bill will end the suffering of tigers, lions and leopards forced to perform in circuses when they visit NYC. As the largest city in America, this is an opportunity for New York City to be a leader in the humane treatment of big cats,” said Susan Bass, Director of Public Relations for Big Cat Rescue.

“The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) applauds the New York City Council for its vote to end the use of wild animals in circuses, closing the chapter on an outdated and inhumane spectacle that routinely subjects elephants, tigers and other wild animals to abusive and unnatural conditions. Today’s action reflects an important evolution in public attitudes toward greater concern and respect for captive wildlife and away from the use of wild animals for novelty and amusement. PAWS especially commends Intro 1233 sponsor, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, for her compassion, leadership and longtime dedication to ending the suffering of wild animals in circuses,” said Ed Stewart, President of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

“We congratulate Council Member Mendez on her 11 years of persistence and leadership to pass a law to stop circuses from exploiting wild and exotic animals for human entertainment in New York City. With the passage of Mendez’s bill, New York will show that such practices have no place in a city that values the dignity of other beings,” said Matthew Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations, Nonhuman Rights Project.

“CompassionWorks International applauds Council Members Mendez and Johnson and the city of New York for making the humane and compassionate choice to ban the use of animals in traveling entertainment. With this historic ban, New York shows the power of truth and justice for all, including for those who suffered for decades to provide others with a few minutes of entertainment. Thank you, New York City, for recognizing that animal cruelty has no place in a modern and caring society,” said Carrie LeBlanc, M.A., Executive Director, CompassionWorks International.

“Born Free USA applauds Council Members Rosie Mendez and Corey Johnson for their efforts with Intro 1233. This bill is another step in the right direction to banning wild animal performances, and to do so in New York City is a real accomplishment. We hope other jurisdictions will follow suit to end the use of animals in entertainment,” said Prashant K. Khetan, Esq., CEO and General Counsel of Born Free USA.

“HEART is grateful to Councilwoman Mendez and the co-sponsors of Intro.1233 for taking this significant step toward creating a more compassionate community in NYC. Wild animals in the circus have had to endure mistreatment, coercive training and unnatural living conditions for too long. It is important for children to see that their legislators have compassion for these highly intelligent and social animals. We are pleased that our city can serve as a humane model for our students,” said Meena Alagappan, Executive Director, Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART).