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Ydanis Rodriguez

Ydanis Rodriguez

Categories covered by Ydanis

Talks covered by this speaker


Toward Self-Enforcing Streets

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About this Speaker

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, represents the 10th Council District, which includes the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill. There is literally no other greater champion for our community, our voice. These neighborhoods, filled with hardworking residents, continuously strive to maintain a robust and authentic identity of a multicultural, working class community.

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez has embodied the true essence of advocacy, activism and leadership since his days as a student at the City University of New York (CUNY). As a student leader, he challenged a proposal that would increase the cost of tuition for more than 93,000 CUNY students by over a thousand dollars. At City College in Harlem, Ydanis led a student’s movement that persuaded Governor Mario Cuomo to veto his own proposal. This protest not only signaled the beginning of an education focused agenda, but was also a testament to Ydanis’s leadership. Ydanis expanded on his desire to help others when he co-founded Gregorio Luperon High School in Washington Heights, a school that focused on supporting newly arrived immigrants from Latin America transitioning to the American educational system. For 13 years as a teacher, Ydanis impacted the lives of many students – many of whom have become affluent, professional, American citizens.

As a legislator, Ydanis has stood at the forefront of issues most important to New Yorkers. He has led and co-led 37 bills. He has focused on protecting and improving the rights of women, immigrants, workers and all New Yorkers who seek social justice. His efforts during the Occupy Wall Street protests were recognized when he garnered Time Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year. In fact, Ydanis furthered his mission to bring about changes by suing the City of New York for violating his constitutional rights by impeding his right to Freedom of Speech and unlawfully arresting him. Settling the case awarded him approximately $30,000 and brought attention to the inefficient, excessive practices of police force. He donated the settlement money to the Center for Constitutional Right.

As Chairman of the NYC Council Transportation Committee, Ydanis’s work includes the passage of 14 bills to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety. He has also been a key figure in supporting the effort to reduce traffic fatalities and expand transportation options into underserved communities.

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