Maya D. Wiley, a former top attorney for Mayor Bill de Blasio who has won national support as a political and legal analyst for MSNBC, announced her candidacy for New York City mayor on Wednesday night and immediately tried to stand out from her previous one to distance boss.
In a video at the start of the campaign, Ms. Wiley, a political novice, did not mention Mr de Blasio by name, but referred to his term in office when she referred to a “crisis of confidence in the leadership of our city”.
“Some will say I don’t sound like past mayors or what they look like or what they think, and I say yes, I don̵
Her announcement was awaited months after Ms. Wiley left her role at MSNBC in July to explore a run. The mayor’s race next year was changed by the pandemic and massive protests against Black Lives Matter in the city.
In calling on voters to support them “when you are fed up with the same old thing,” Ms. Wiley posed an outsider despite being a member of the de Blasio administration, a strategy that would set her apart from two leading Democratic candidates – Eric Adams, Brooklyn District President; and Scott M. Stringer, City Administrator – longtime officials.
Mrs Wiley has to explain how she differs from Mr de Blasio, a Democrat in his second and final term who is not very popular with voters. As the mayor’s attorney, Ms. Wiley famously argued that his e-mail communications with outside advisors were private because the advisors were acting as “agents of the city.” These emails were eventually published in an episode embarrassing for the mayor.
Ms. Wiley plans to officially kick off her campaign on Thursday at an event outside the Brooklyn Museum with her family and supporters, including Michael Gianaris, a powerful Democratic State senator from Queens who is best known for his successful efforts to get the treaty from Amazon for a headquarters in his district to be disrupted.
Ms. Wiley, a Brooklyn-based civil rights attorney, served as chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board for about a year. She has since worked as a professor at the New School and performed regularly on MSNBC, which became a popular figure among left-wing viewers. Her father, George A. Wiley, was a prominent civil rights activist.
But Ms. Wiley has never held public office or ran an expensive political campaign, and she needs to quickly establish herself as a capable leader and convince voters – including the business community – that she is the best person to get the city out of town Country to lead pandemic.
In her campaign, Ms. Wiley said she wanted to focus on racial justice, affordable housing and educational inequality, among other things.
One of their first public events was held outside the Lucerne Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side last month, where lawyers ordered Mr de Blasio not to throw homeless men out of the hotel. Some neighbors had complained after the men moved there during the pandemic.
“We are the men of Lucerne,” said Ms. Wiley. “We’re all New Yorkers. You have to stay. “
Fans who recognized Ms. Wiley from TV – despite wearing a blue face mask – asked for selfies after the event.
The mayor’s race has been in flux for the past few weeks. City council spokeswoman Corey Johnson was eliminated from the race and Kathryn Garcia, the city’s sanitation commissioner, said she could attend.
Mr. de Blasio has to resign due to term restrictions. The 2021 democratic primary will take place in June, and the general election will follow in November.
Mr Stringer, the city administrator, has highlighted his endorsements from younger progressive leaders such as Jessica Ramos, a Senator from Queens, and Jamaal Bowman, a Democratic Congressional candidate.
Ms. Wiley is charismatic and has a compelling criminal justice background, but she needs to find her electoral base, said Susan Kang, professor of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“Scott Stringer has done a good job of bringing a lot of support to establishment progressives,” said Professor Kang. “How is she going to put her coalition together?”
The Mayoress recently said that Ms. Wiley “did an excellent job in this administration” and that her interest in becoming Mayor, along with the expected offers from Ms. Garcia and another former City Commissioner, Loree K. Sutton, was “good for” New York City. “
But on Wednesday, Mr de Blasio was jokingly asked if another Democrat secretly wanted his job: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, his frequent opponent.
“I wasn’t pushing anyone to become Mayor of New York City,” he said. “It’s a very, very challenging moment.”