Maya Wiley Wants to Rid the Big Apple of Its Bad Apples
The mayoral hopeful plans to become NYC’s first female Black mayor by making it more affordable and technologically competitive. But first she wants to defund the NYPD.
New York City has elected only one African-American mayor ever. As far as women, the city has anointed zero. This history faced Maya Wiley with a steep and Southern windy climb when she decided to run for NYC’s #1 seat. The former lead legal counsel for current mayor Bill de Blasio is well aware that history is against her. The solution, she says, is turning luxuries into necessities. For example: providing strong WIFI for every New Yorker regardless of economic status, or making the shiny Big Apple more affordable.
The platform most significant to the candidate’s campaign is the policing of the police department. Wiley, a career activist who worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, feels that the NYPD needs to be overseen by two governing bodies — both of which would be run by civilians. Defunding the five boroughs’ biggest gang will be her tallest task, but as the mayoral primaries approach (June 22), the 57-year-old Wiley is gaining new ground on frontrunners Eric Adams and Andrew Yang daily — endorsements have come from the likes of 1199SEIU (the largest healthcare union in the country) and progressive queen Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
“It’s about investing in what we know will prevent a gun from being fired in the first place. Do you know how much this city pays out in police misconduct a year? We could literally fund what keeps us safe instead of complaints and lawsuits.”
During a phone call the morning of June 17, Wiley touched on her recent campaign ascendance — what her team has coined “Maya-mentum” — and highlighted what separates her from competition by thoroughly explaining her plans for a better New York City. She clearly understands what separates politicians from leaders is showing more than telling.