ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The city of Rochester is mourning the death of a woman who dedicated her life to serving the city.

Gladys Santiago was a member of Rochester City Council from 1996-2009, working her way up to vice president and finally president.

She pushed for projects like La Marketa at the International Plaza on North Clinton Avenue. Santiago also worked as interim president and CEO of the Ibero-American Action League.

Current Rochester City Council President Miguel Melendez Jr. described Santiago as a pioneer and trailblazer in the Hispanic community, advocating for civil rights and language access while ensuring equity.

In a statement, he said in part:

"She never lost sight of where she came from, she was a very caring individual and known as a great leader who uplifted the community. We are thankful for her pledge to a life of public service to all Rochesterians. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and all who knew her."

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans also released a statement, saying in part:

"Gladys was the epitome of what a City Councilmember should be, rising to become Council President in 2008. She cared deeply about people and the neighborhoods they lived in and dedicated her career to lifting people out of poverty and addressing crime and substance abuse. She will be remembered forever for her relentless advocacy for Rochester's Latino community. I am glad that she got to see her 40-year quest to see La Marketa become a reality. I send my condolences to her family and pray for their comfort in the coming days."

There has been no word yet on funeral arrangements.