Vote for women!

Push to boost Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tion in ’21

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY SHANT SHAHRIGIAN

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 ny­dai­


Point­ing out that just 12 out of 50 City Coun­cil mem­bers are women, group called 21 in ’21 has en­dorsed 32 women in next year’s election, in­clud­ing, l. to r. top, Tif­fany Ca­ban and Am­ber Adler. Yvette Buck­ner (inset sec­ond row) is vice chair­woman of the ini­tia­tive’s board.

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