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NYC Council Speaker Mark-Viverito endorses Hillary Clinton

City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks to reporters

City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks to reporters during a press conference at City Hall on Monday, Aug. 10 2015. Credit: Agaton Strom

The leader of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton Wednesday for president.

Writing in the largest daily newspaper of her native Puerto Rico, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito said fellow Democrat Clinton is a "fighter" for Latino families.

"For Puerto Ricans -- both on the island and throughout the diaspora -- this election is the most important in our lifetime," Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) wrote in an op-ed for El Nuevo Dia, according to a translation provided by the speaker's office. "Hillary's plan has shown she is not just a friend to the island; she will stand up for it," she wrote.

The speaker, who lives in East Harlem and owns property in Puerto Rico, said Clinton supports the commonwealth's efforts to solve a fiscal crisis, in which billions are owed to lenders -- debt its governor says is "not payable."

Clinton's media office announced that the former secretary of state would be traveling to San Juan for a roundtable discussion Friday on the island's health care problems.

Mark-Viverito will not be traveling with Clinton, but will accompany Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on his own trip to the island Monday.

Mark-Viverito comes from the same progressive wing of the Democratic Party as Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was manager of Clinton's successful 2000 Senate campaign but has yet to endorse a 2016 candidate. De Blasio won't be going on either trip.

De Blasio said he is waiting until he hears the Democratic candidates' full plans for addressing economic inequality and other issues.

"I think Secretary Clinton is offering a more and more powerful vision of . . . the issues I'm particularly focused on," de Blasio said Thursday morning at an unrelated news conference. "I still think there's some issues that we have to hear a little more on."

With Emily Ngo

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