Ydanis Rodríguez

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Ydanis Rodríguez
NLN Ydanis Rodriguez 2008.jpg
Ydanis Rodriguez speaking at City Hall in 2008
Member of the New York City Council from the 10th District
Assumed office
January 1, 2010[1]
Preceded byMiguel Martinez
Personal details
Born (1965-06-18) June 18, 1965 (age 54)
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materCity College of New York
WebsiteOfficial website

Ydanis Rodríguez (born June 18, 1965) is the Council member for the 10th District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill in Manhattan. Rodríguez serves as the Chairman of the Council Transportation Committee.[2] He is known for his arrest at an Occupy Wall Street rally in November 2011, and was profiled for the act in Time's 2011 Person of the Year.[3][4]

In 2019, he announced his bid for the United States House of Representatives for New York's 15th congressional district.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Rodríguez was born in the Dominican Republic and moved from his hometown of Licey al Medio to New York City when he was 18 years old. While working as a taxi driver,[6] Rodriguez earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science at the City College of New York.

In 2013, Rodriguez became the first New York City Council Member to ever take paternity leave when his daughter was born. Rodriguez took two weeks leave, and has since been vocal about the need for paid paternity and maternity leave in New York City and nationwide, citing the vast number of countries that have paid family leave.[7]

Rodríguez was arrested for civil disobedience at a demonstration against the Arizona law requiring police officers to arrest illegal aliens.[8] On, November 15, 2011, Rodriguez was arrested for obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct. He was seen bleeding from the head as he was placed in a police car.[9] Rodriguez remained in Zuccotti Park along with about 200 other Occupy Wall Street protestors who refused to leave after Brookfield Properties asked the Bloomberg administration to clear the park for a cleaning.[10] Rodriguez was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year issue in 2011 celebrating The Protester. He was included for his role in the Occupy Wall Street movement.[11]

New York City Council[edit]

After two unsuccessful attempts to run for City Council in 2001 and 2003, Rodriguez won in 2009, winning the Democratic primary election by over 60 percent against seven other candidates.[12][13] In January 2010, Rodriguez was appointed as the chairman of the Higher Education Committee,[14] and as Chair, Rodríguez called for more diversity in the faculty of CUNY,[15] more childcare programs for student-parents, and successfully fought to keep CUNY's budget intact during the economic recession. As Chair, Rodriguez focused on working to improve the number of New York City high school graduates who are college-ready, particularly the lack of Black and Latino students deemed "college-ready", using test scores, grades and practical application of curriculum. As a former co-founder and teacher in one of the schools in his district, Rodriguez took a personal interest in the role education plays in the community.[16]

Rodriguez focused on education, affordable housing, community health, immigration reform, curbing the NYPD stop and frisk policy and bringing jobs to the northern Manhattan community.[17] Rodriguez also advocated for affordable housing in Northern Manhattan, which has received less than 1% of all new affordable housing units built since 2004.[18]

Rodriguez worked with the tenants of 552 Academy St. in Manhattan and local community groups to have the building turned over from a negligent landlord to CLOTH, a local community organization. He helped secure funding for a $21.1 million renovation for the building so that residents can finally live comfortable.[19] The building reopened to the public after the renovation, welcoming home the 32 original families to return as well as 42 new tenants. Also thanks to funding from the New York City Council, the building has one of the few green roofs in Inwood.[20]

In 2016, he sponsored a bill that was signed into law that eliminated the requirement that New York City taxi drivers take an English proficiency exam.[21]

In 2017, he and several other politicians expressed outrage at the MTA's practices and lack of regard for their ridership, urging the agency to offer better service.[22]


A controversy attended the 2014 hiring by Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora of the wife of Rodriguez, Christina Melendez, as a special assistant to with a $150,000-a-year salary.[23] Employees at the DDC twice complained in writing to Mayor Bill de Blasio that the commissioner was engaging in patronage and hiring "cronies".[24] The commissioner and Rodriguez had a prior relationship, inasmuch as in 2012 when the commissioner was threatened with removal as Dean at Columbia University's engineering school, Rodriguez had led a campaign to keep the commissioner in his job.[25] Rodriguez's wife didn't have a background in either engineering or architecture, areas associated with the DDC, but her new position with the DDC position paid her $48,000 more than her prior job.[26]

In February 2016 residents of his district expressed upset that Rodriguez asserted that he needed to be paid at least $175,000 to support his family, rather than the then-current base salary of $112,500, which was already being raised 32% to $148,500.[27] The median household income was $39,500 in Rodriguez's district.[28][29][30]

Election history[edit]

New York City Council: District 10
Election Candidate Party Votes Pct Candidate Party Votes Pct Candidate Party Votes Pct Candidate Party Votes Pct
2009 Primary Rodríguez Dem 5,321 60.34% Richard Realmuto Dem 1,325 15.03% Manuel Velazquez Dem 876 9.93% Others (4) Dem 1,333 12.85%
2009 General Rodríguez Dem 12,121 95.05% Ruben Vargas Ind 630 4.94%
2013 Primary Rodríguez Dem 10,157 70.82% Cheryl Pahaham Dem 3,219 22.44% F. Castellanos Dem 967 6.74%
2013 General Rodríguez Dem 18,480 89.64% Ronnie Cabrera Ind 1,595 7.74% Miquel Estrella SC 497 2.41%
2017 General Election Rodríguez Dem 18,855 90.05% Ronny Goodman Ind 1,595 10.94%


  1. ^ "How Long can Each New York City Council Member Serve?". City & State. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140122/BLOGS04/140129946/city-council-committee-chairs-named
  3. ^ "The Protester: A Portfolio by Peter Hapak, slide 30".
  4. ^ "The Protester is Time Magazine's Person of the Year". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23.
  5. ^ https://thebronxchronicle.com/2019/10/01/ydanis-rodriguez-for-congress/
  6. ^ "Welcome ydanis2009.com - BlueHost.com". Ydanis2009.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-03-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Police Arrest 16 During Immigration Protest". NY1.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  9. ^ http://www.knickledger.com/2011/11/hispanic-nyc-city-council-member-injured-from-occupy-wall-street-raid/
  10. ^ "Local Politicians Largely Blast Early Morning Raid Of Occupy Wall Street Camp". NY1.com. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  11. ^ Witty, Patrick (2011-12-14). "The Protester: A Portfolio by Peter Hapak". Time.
  12. ^ "2009 NYC Voter Guide: Candidate Profile: Ydanis Rodriguez". Nyccfb.info. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  13. ^ "Drumming Up Support in the Heights (Gotham Gazette, Aug 24, 2009)". Gothamgazette.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  14. ^ "City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ousts arch-rival Charles Barron from education committee". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  15. ^ "CUNY diversity: While the student body is multihued, two-thirds of faculty is white". New York: Nydailynews.com. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2012-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ http://manhattantimesnews.com/APRIL-252012/the-state-of-the-district-is-delivered.html
  18. ^ "Calls for affordable housing in Washington Hts". Daily News. New York. 2012-08-30.
  19. ^ "New York News, Traffic, Sports, Weather, Photos, Entertainment, and Gossip - Homepage - NY Daily News". Daily News. New York.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-20. Retrieved 2015-08-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ Gioino, Catherina; McShane, Larry (August 3, 2017). "Pols hop aboard city subways to hear commuter complaints right from the source ". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ [3]
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Miguel Martinez
New York City Council, 10th District