Who Are Our City Council Members & What Do They Do? Part III
Helen Diane Foster
City Council Member Helen Diane Foster is the younger of two daughters born to the former Council Member Rev. Wendell Foster and Mrs. Helen Foster. She is a graduate of Howard University and City University of New York School of Law. Council Member Foster is the first African American woman to be elected to the New York City Council from Bronx County.
Council Member Helen Diane Foster serves as the Chairperson for the New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation and as Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. She has served as the Co-Chairperson of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Presently, Council Member Helen Diane Foster serves on the Aging, Education, General Welfare, Health, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Public Safety Committees. #
Council Member Miguel Martinez has represented the 10th Council District since January 1, 2002. As Chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, Council Member Martinez has jurisdiction over the Fire Department, EMS (non health related issues), Department of Probation, Department of Correction and Legal Aid.
Before entering the Council, Martinez was a member of the local Community Planning Board. He served on the Board’s Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Parks & Environmental Committee, in which he presented several resolutions addressing the environmental health conditions affecting the Northern Manhattan Community. He served as an appointee of the Honorable Eliot Spitzer on the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Advisory Board. He has published several articles addressing the high asthma rates in the Northern Manhattan Community and the environmental conditions affecting its residents.
Martinez was elected Democratic District Leader in the Inwood Community. In that role, he became a firm voice on environmental and quality-of-life issues in his neighborhood. He helped organize block associations, tenants associations, street clean-up campaigns, and community forums. He has been a strong advocate for increased participation in the local community Police Council, so that the police, working along with civic leaders, can better address the quality-of-life and public safety issues throughout Washington Heights and Inwood. Martinez was the President of the Northern Manhattan Democrats for Change. As President, he organized voter registration drives and voter education workshops. He was instrumental in organizing the membership and local community groups during the rent-control battle in 1997. He was the Director of the Victim Services Childcare Domestic Violence Network, servicing mothers who are victims of domestic violence and their children. He dedicated 6 years as a teacher in local community school district 6, where he worked as a Bilingual Teacher.
Martinez is committed to fighting for more effective discharge planning and alternatives-to-incarceration services, better educational opportunities for all children, greater access to health care, more affordable housing, greater economic development, more efficient public transportation, safer streets and a cleaner environment.
Entered City Council: 01/01/2002
Current Term Expires: 12/31/2009
Represents: Parts of Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill
Committees: Fire & Criminal Justice Services (Chair); Higher Education; Land Use; Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses; Transportation; Youth Services#