Mendez hits the big five oh and is going for three
BY SARAH FERGUSON | Councilmember Rosie Mendez celebrated her 50th birthday with a big-bucks celebration at the worker-owned Colors restaurant on Lafayette St. last Thursday.
The event brought in more than $45,000 in donations to kick off her third-term bid to represent the East Village and Lower East Side.
“Not even the Republicans in Washington could keep me away today,” joked Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, who planted a big kiss on Mendez’s cheek.
Also in the house were Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn, who said she had been friends with Mendez since the two were housing activists together 25 years ago; and Councilmember Daniel Dromm, who drummed up donations like an auctioneer, while presenting himself as “one of the many queens from Queens for Rosie.”
The place was jammed with community activists and artists of all stripes, including members of Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA) — Mendez’s political organization — the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and Mendez’s rarely seen older brother, Antonio, an emergency room M.D., who credited himself with being Rosie’s first “sparring partner” as they grew up in the projects in Williamsburg.
“I have to say, I feel the love,” a beaming Mendez told the crowd.”
Previously a vocal opponent of raising term limits, Mendez showed no qualms about running a third time. Citing recent successes—like the preservation and restoration of St. Brigid’s Church—and her role in coordinating relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy, Mendez said: “I believe I have worked tirelessly, and I want the opportunity to do that again.”
Mendez’s mentor, former Council-member Margarita Lopez cheered: “She’s the girl. She’s got the power!”