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Office of City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo

For Immediate Release — May 20, 2014

Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo Expresses Outrage Over Media Criticism of First Lady McCray as a Mother 


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BROOKLYN, NY Today, Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo released the following statement in response to gross misrepresentation by the New York Post and Daily News of First Lady Chirlane McCray who revealed her challenges as a new mother and working professional during a candid interview with New York Magazine.

“As a New York City Council Member and Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee I am outraged by the New York Post and the Daily News criticism of First Lady McCray’s role as a mother. This depiction is completely unfounded and underscores the unfortunate circumstance that women today face; namely that they cannot candidly speak to the challenging realities of balancing the many facets of being a modern-day parent and a professional in the work force. This act of slander is an abuse of media power, in hopes of selling a few extra papers. The New York Post and the Daily News has hit an all-time low and these words will not silence us; we will stand up against this defamation,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo of the 35th District in Brooklyn.

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From universal pre-K and paid sick leave to the creation and preservation of affordable housing units over the next ten years, the de Blasio Administration, in conjunction with the New York City Council led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, has worked diligently to create a better life for thousands of families who increasingly live in single-parent homes where women are the head of the household. Women’s issues have been brought to the forefront under this new administration, which has appointed more women commissioners in recent New York City history. Despite these advances, women remain underrepresented in several industries and earn less than their male counterparts, subjecting an overwhelming number of families to a life of poverty.

“Women often are the glue in the family and this delicate balance of mother, wife and professional is steeped in challenges that are universal around the world. We will not be silenced about these truths and it is only through the words and actions of leaders such as First Lady McCray that such silencing can be defeated. First Lady Chirlane McCray demonstrated great courage by sharing her personal experience publicly when so many women continue to struggle in silence. It is unfortunate that her candid remarks were taken out of context to depict her as a bad mother, which we have seen is an inaccurate assessment. Her story is a message of hope, not an opportunity to judgment and criticism.

“As a community, we cannot accept the media’s unbalanced mischaracterizations of the truth. We firmly and passionately support First Lady McCray as a powerful leader, an advocate for children and families, and as a loving mother and wife. Please stand with us in rejecting the misinformation and uniformed innuendos that depict the First Lady, and all women, in an untruthful and unfair light!

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Chirlane McCray Respect our First Lady

New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th District, which covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. She serves as Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and a member of several committees: Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations; Finance; Higher Education; Public Housing; and Youth Services. Council Member Cumbo is also a member of the Women’s Caucus; the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus; and the Jewish Caucus.

Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo

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