Interview Highlights

– “President Obama has weighed in on the issue (Puerto Rico debt crisis), saying that congress should act and be helpful to the island. But also we believe that the president has executive ability to have either the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve be more involved, and we haven’t seen that happen. It’s coming to a head, it really is important that we get as much support as possible for the island,” she added, calling the fiscal situation in the island territory a “humanitarian crisis.”

– “Puerto Rico does not have access to bankruptcy protection like any other municipality would. It’s a very difficult time, verging on a humanitarian crisis here, and it’s important that the federal government act.”

About Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is the Speaker of the New York City Council. She is the member from the Council’s 8th District, which currently includes East Harlem, Randalls and Wards Islands, as well as Port Morris and part of Mott Haven in the Bronx. In November 2013, she won re-election to her third term in the Council, and her close ally Bill de Blasio was elected mayor. Mark-Viverito was elected City Council Speaker on January 8, 2014 at age 44, becoming the first member of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus to hold this position. She was just named co-chair of the Latino victory fund super PAC. The Latino Victory Fund is the super PAC of the Latino Victory Project — a nonpartisan organization devoted to supporting Latino candidates and increasing turnout of Latino voters. The recently assembled a coalition of female activists to launch the Young Women’s Initiative—a group she said would combat racial and gender inequality.

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