Laurie Cumbo, NYC City Council, city council majority leader, BK Reader, Women's Caucus, STEM education, affordable housing, M/WBE,

On Thursday, New York City Council made “herstory” by appointing Councilmember Laurie Cumbo as the new majority leader, making her the first woman of color to hold the position.

“I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as majority leader of the New York City Council,” said Cumbo. “I have spent the greater part of my first term in office advocating that ‘women’s issues’ are human rights issues. When we raise the voices and issues that so many have deemed women’s issues, we are lifting everyone.”

Cumbo, who formerly served as chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues during her freshman term and currently co-chairs the Women’s Caucus, has championed legislation such as the expansion of paid family leave and universal pre-K, the protection reproductive rights and fighting for this city’s LBGTQ, gender pay equity, increased transparency and accountability procedures to support minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and improved protections for survivors of domestic or gender-based violence, among others.

During the next four years, Cumbo plans on guiding the borough delegations and caucuses with a focus on securing council funding for schools; empowering young women and girls as future leaders; expanding access for youth of all backgrounds to a competitive curriculum that incorporates science, technology, education, arts and mathematics (STEAM/STEM); increasing opportunities for M/WBEs and creating more affordable housing. With her historic appointment, Cumbo wants to ensure that women have a seat at the table to bring forth issues that not only affect women and families, but everyday people.

“Women represent the largest demographic within the city of New York and their voices should never be silenced but welcomed at the table throughout the legislative session,” said Cumbo. “As the Women’s Caucus of the City Council, we will continue to connect, collaborate, empathize, imagine and communicate. Our perspective as mothers and caregivers will inform both district and legislative priorities that we must endeavor to put at the forefront for the betterment of the next generation, women and the city in general.”

The new City Council’s expanded leadership team will also include the following Brooklyn representatives: Councilmembers Robert Cornegy Jr., Jumaane Williams, Rafael Espinal Jr., Antonio Reynoso, Brad Lander, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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