New York Daily News
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Push to boost Council representation in ’21
For a city that’s more than 50% female, there’s not a lot of women on the City Council — just 12 out of 50 members are women, to be exact.
An initiative created to change the status quo endorsed 32 female candidates in the 2021 elections on Monday, vowing to help see at least 21 of them into office.
They range from firsttime contenders to campaign veterans and come from a variety of political and cultural backgrounds.
The common denominator is a commitment to strongly representing those who identify as women on the city’s lawmaking body, emphasizing health care, child care and education, according to initiative organizers.
Leaders of the initiative, called 21 in ’21, noted only six of the 12 female incumbents will leave office due to term limits.
“How can we stand for everything that we
stand for if our elected officials don’t reflect that ideal for the population?” Amelia Adams, chairwoman of 21 in ’21’s executive board, told the Daily News.
The undertaking launched in 2017, drawing momentum from the #MeToo movement.
Since then, the COVID outbreak has rocked the c i t y, w h i l e President Trump’s conservative policies have continued to fire up progressives.
Yvette Buckner, vice chairwoman of the initiative’s board, said many of the the women who were endorsed are primary care providers for children and older members of their families.
“Without those voices in the room, things get lost,” she said.
“You have to have people who are actually on the ground, having those lived experiences, in order to effectuate the changes that we need.”
The 32 women who were endorsed include Tiffany Caban, who rocked the
Queens political establishment when she nearly won the Democratic primary for district attorney last year, and Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, who’s looking to switch to the Council.
“We need more representation across the board in our legislative bodies,” said Caban.
“I think it’s important, obviously, that we bring our experiences — and that includes our gendered experiences — into policymaking because that’s the only way that we will have policy that addresses the systemic barriers that we face.”
The list also includes first-time candidates like Amber Ad l e r, who described herself as “middle of the road” politically.
She’s running for the Brooklyn seat held by term-limited Councilman Chaim Deutsch, for whose campaign she previously worked.
Adler faces Harold “Heshy” Tischler, who was recently arrested for his al
leged role in violent protests over coronavirus restrictions in Jewish communities.
“This endorsement means being welcomed into an extended family of citywide alliances that believe an Orthodox Jewish woman like me deserves a seat at the table at City Hall,” Adler said.
The initiative has held months of training sessions on policy, the budget, interacting with the press and other topics for its candidates. Leaders said current and former female Council members are volunteering to mentor the new crop of contenders.
Help with raising funds is also in the works.
“We wanted to ensure by putting an army of people around these women … that they are ready and prepared,” said Buckner, who also works for the politically connected consultancy Tusk Strategies.
For the complete list of 21 in ’21’s endorsements, go to nydailynews.com.