Former MSNBC Legal Analyst Maya Wiley is hoping to shake up the upcoming New York mayoral race. Inspired by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, Wiley is attempting to become the first Black woman to be elected mayor of New York.
“I am running because I know that this is a city where we can all live with dignity if we have a city government that is transformative rather than transactional. We got to get off the treadmill of transaction. And as someone who spent 30 years as a civil rights lawyer, racial justice advocate outside and inside of city government, I know that it is possible,” Wiley said.
“And frankly, even before COVID, even before George Floyd, we were facing the challenges that COVID laid bare. I think of COVID as the thing that drew back the curtains once again on just why and how it is that when disaster strikes, it is communities of color that get hit first and hardest and that no one in the city is benefited by that.”
Wiley is a native of Washington, D.C., but she is no stranger to the nation's largest city. Prior to working as a legal analyst for MSNBC, Wiley served as legal counsel for former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. She also served as the chair of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board. As mayor, Wiley believes that she can properly represent marginalized communities and create meaningful change.
“Black women have been delivering for this country for generations, as have Black men, and yet we are always seen as the mules and never the precious cargo,” Wiley said.
“We’re leaders, we’re innovators, we’re problem solvers, we’re uniters, we’re idea generators, we are all the things that we need in society and it is about representation, but importantly, it is about experience. Because we are not going to have a leadership that serves us all if we don’t have a leadership that understands us all.”
Wiley enters a crowded field that includes Wall Street favorite Raymond McGuire, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and nonprofit CEO Dianne Morales. Democratic and Republican Primaries will take place this summer before the general election is held in November.
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