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Behind The Women Running for New York City Mayor

In its history, NYC has had 109 mayors, but none of them have ever been women. This mayoral election may change that. Many New Yorkers believe NYC is long overdue for a woman mayor… And we agree. 

The United States has seen enormous growth regarding female representation in office in the past few years, but women still have a ways to go in terms of equality in politics. This growth in gender equality was especially significant during the 2020 elections, where women ran and won in record numbers. 

Three female mayoral candidates are hoping to continue this trend, making waves with their campaigns. They’ve been gaining more and more traction as the Democratic and Republican primaries approach on June 22nd. So who are these women?

Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, and Maya Wiley are three leading Democratic candidates in the upcoming race. Each hopes to bring their expertise and experience to the position, especially regarding key issues such as COVID-19 recovery, policing, and public safety.

Kathryn Garcia was commissioner for the New York City Sanitation Department since 2014, where she oversaw areas including garbage collection, snow removal, and street cleaning. She also prioritized different agendas aimed to combat climate change, including zero-waste landfills and residential curbside food scraps collection and composting programs.

During COVID-19, she oversaw New York’s emergency food program. According to her campaign website, her team will prioritize economic recovery, transportation, climate change, public safety and police reform, affordable housing, and education

Dianne Morales’ platform focuses on tackling inequality and divesting from the police. She made her mark as “the activist-candidate-next-door,” according to the New York Times. She plans to combat inequality in New York City through providing “quality housing, jobs, education, healthcare and transportation,” according to her campaign website.

Morales has a deep understanding of the city’s education system as a former NYC public school teacher. She also was the former Executive Director of The Door, an organization providing different youth development services in NYC. Most recently, she was the CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, a not-for-profit affordable housing developer. Throughout her career, she strived to create more inclusive and equitable communities throughout the city.

Maya Wiley is an established lawyer, professor, and activist who hopes to bring serious change if elected mayor. Wiley served in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York, was counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014, and worked for both the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund as well as the American Civil Liberties Union.

Notably, she also was the president of the Center for Social Inclusion, which aims to dismantle structural inequality. Wiley discusses her plans on her campaign website, including implementing universal community care, preventing gun violence, reinvigorating small businesses, creating a just school system, transforming policing, prioritizing climate change, and more.

In recent weeks, Garcia and Wiley have surged in the polls as both candidates gained endorsements from prominent names. Despite the progressive reputation of New York City, it’s “years behind other big cities like Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Atlanta and Phoenix that have made women their chief executives,” according to Politico. With less than a week until the Democratic primary, it’s currently anyone’s game. 

Photo by Element5 Digital via Unsplash.

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