Rita Joseph

New York City Council Member Rita Joseph was elected in 2021 to represent Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Kensington, Ditmas Park, and Southern Crown Heights. Before serving in the City Council, Ms. Joseph was a public school teacher, a community activist, and a proud union member. Currently, Council Member Joseph serves as Chair of the Education Committee in the New York City Council.

After immigrating to the U.S. from Haiti in her youth, Ms. Joseph began her life of advocacy at 19 years old organizing her first rally with a group she founded, Haitian Enforcement Against Racism. This rally was done in order to protest the FDA’s discriminatory “bad blood” rules that prevented people of Haitian descent from donating blood. The rally succeeded in its mission, and the FDA rescinded the racist rule.

Despite being a teen mom who was only able to attend college because of a full tuition scholarship, Ms. Joseph spent her twenties raising her children while organizing protests against police brutality, and equity in education, even while working a full-time job as an educator at P.S.6 for over two decades.

Among many other successes, Ms. Joseph was able to provide for her school financially, securing hundreds of thousands of dollars for technological improvements that help thousands of children receive a better education, including funding from the City, State, and Federal Government.

Council Member Joseph is currently Chair of the Committee on Education in the New York City Council overseeing the New York City Public School system. She remains committed to improving public schools, advancing economic development, fighting for affordable housing, combatting the climate crisis, and achieving real criminal and social justice reform for New Yorkers.