The second most powerful position in New York City politics is now held by a gay man living with HIV.
Last Wednesday, Corey Johnson was elected speaker of the New York City Council. The 35-year-old Johnson represents the West Village, Chelsea and areas of Midtown Manhattan on the council, a spot the New York Times considers second only to Mayor Bill de Blasio in power. Johnson now will voice decisions concerning the city’s $86 billion annual budget.
A native of Massachusetts, Johnson has spoken publicly about growing up in public housing, struggling with drugs and alcohol and his HIV positive status. During his city service Johnson has championed issues affecting the middle and working class and those living in poverty.
“The affordability crisis gripping our City threatens the very existence of our neighborhoods. New Yorkers who have lived in the same community their entire lives now find themselves priced out, unable to afford their rent or even groceries,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson was first elected to NYC Council in 2013, reports Gay Star News, winning with 86 percent of the vote. He has passed 18 pieces of legislation with a focus on rent regulation, tenant protection and assisting New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS.
“I’m honored and humbled to have been selected by my colleagues as Speaker of the New York City Council. I look forward to working with all of my fellow Council Members on behalf of all New Yorkers,” Johnson tweeted.