She is a writer and a political activist. She is the mother of son Dante and daughter Chiara, and the wife of NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Chirlane McCray is NYC’s next first lady.
Yesterday, her husband defeated Republican opponent Joe Lhota in a landslide victory, winning 75% of the vote.
A Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident and a Wellesley College graduate, McCray’s career began as a writer for Redbook magazine. She then became a speechwriter for former New York Comptroller Carl McCall, former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson and former NYC Mayor David N. Dinkins. She’s also held jobs in the private sector, specifically in the public affairs department of Citigroup and also, Maimonides Medical Center.
She frequently edits her husband’s speeches and has been a close confidante and strategist during his campaign. In fact, an excerpt from a New York Times article describes her as a key player in many of his political decisions: “Political meetings are planned around her schedule. She sits in on job interviews for top advisers. She edits all key speeches (aides are known to e-mail drafts straight to her).
Her encounters with city life directly influenced Mr. de Blasio’s approach in the campaign. Ms. McCray was horrified when parts of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village were demolished to make way for luxury condominiums: 30 years ago, despite the fact that she had no health insurance, doctors there kept her alive after an acute asthma attack. So at her urging, the closing of city hospitals became a central theme of her husband’s candidacy.
Together, Mr. de Blasio and Ms. McCray are as much a package deal as Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, a reality etched into the campaign hierarchy affixed to a wall of the de Blasio political headquarters. It lists “Bill/Chirlane” above a sprawling team of aides.”
The granddaughter of Caribbean immigrants, McCray, 58, is known as a no-nonsense kind of person who doesn’t back down from controversy or debate. When Mayor Mike Bloomberg last month accused her husband of showcasing his mixed-race family to gain popularity on the campaign trail, McCray released the following statement via Twitter: “Mike Bloomberg, enough of the patriarchal thinking. I am not property or a tool to be used or controlled. Stop the sexism!”
Here, in the video entitled, “Meet NYC’s Next First Lady”, McCray talks to a Huffington Post reporter about her life, family and career.