With only two weeks until New York City’s Democratic primary, two women have a chance to achieve something that has not happened since the city’s establishment in the 17th century: become mayor.
Kathryn Garcia, former city sanitation commissioner, has surged into the top tier of contenders thanks to a late surge in the polls. Another woman running for NYC mayor, former mayoral counsel Maya Wiley, rose to the top of the field after a sequence of events over the weekend. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), one of the country’s most famous progressive voices, endorsed Wiley on Saturday, less than a day after a second woman accused rival leftist candidate Scott Stringer of sexual misconduct.
The Democratic primary is still in play with less than a week until early voting begins. While Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams led a survey issued Monday by NY1 and Ipsos, Garcia is statistically tied for second with Andrew Yang, who led for months until he fell behind. Wiley came in fifth in the survey, but it was taken before the newest allegations against Stringer surfaced, and before a slew of left-wing celebrities joined Ocasio-Cortez in backing Wiley.
With their rise in the polls, women are demonstrating that it is time for them to take the reins when it comes to leading the city of New York.
According to NY Daily News, two of the mayoral candidates presented their points at an online discussion in May, highlighting their policy ideas and emphasizing how women lead differently.
“Women in leadership positions treat the people around them differently and are really much more effective at building teams and inspiring people to work incredibly hard,” said Garcia.
Women have embraced a strategic shift in how they campaign, which has worked well in recent legislative contests in New York but has yet to break through to the top position — either in the city or in Albany.
Wiley told Vogue in a May interview that she “just felt pulled in to be a very different kind of leader: bold and transformational,” clarifying her motivations to run for mayor. Wiley explained why she chose to run for mayor of New York City. Wiley is a lawyer and human rights activist who served as counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio and oversaw the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 2016 to 2017.
Garcia has 14 years of government experience under her belt, including leading an emergency pandemic food program that has supplied over 200 million meals to New Yorkers in need and restoring wastewater treatment facilities following Hurricane Sandy. Now, as part of her mayoral campaign, she is concentrating on improving the lives of New Yorkers by implementing policies like as giving economic assistance and greening the city.
“If you run government well, the public doesn’t have to think about it,” she said in the same Vogue interview.
Andrew Yang, in an unprecedented gesture for a competitive candidate, has said that if he were elected, he would hire her. The New York Times recently endorsed Garcia and advised that he be removed from picture, and “elect the most qualified person: Kathryn Garcia.”
All there is left to do is wait and see where these women go and what they accomplish in the polls.