Melissa Mark Viverito becomes new City Council speaker

Mayor Bill de Blasio had lobbied council members on her behalf in the speaker race. (1/8/14)

NEW YORK - Melissa Mark-Viverito has been unanimously voted the new City Council speaker.

Mark-Viverito, a Democrat who represents the Bronx and Manhattan, is the first Hispanic speaker of the City Council. All 51 City Council members voted for her after Councilman Dan Garodnick conceded earlier Wednesday.

The City Council speaker is considered the second-most powerful position in city government and has the ability to speed up or obstruct the mayor's agenda.

READ MORE: Bronx Politics

Mark-Viverito grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to the United States at the age of 18 to attend Baruch College. She will remain speaker until Dec. 31, 2017.

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