Meet Bill de Blasio
A proud husband and father, Bill met his wife Chirlane McCray at City Hall when he first began his work in public service as a junior staffer for David N. Dinkins, New York City’s first African American mayor. They raised their children Dante and Chiara in Brooklyn where Bill coached Dante’s little league team and served on the local school board.
During his two terms as mayor, Bill created universal pre-K for all 70,000 four-year-olds in New York City, expanded the paid sick leave law to cover thousands more workers, and raised the minimum wage for all City employees and contractors.
He ended the era of stop and frisk and pursued reforms to bring the NYPD and the communities they serve closer together. At the same time, he drove crime to record-low levels.
Bill also expanded the number of affordable apartments and took on the landlord lobby. Under his watch, rents were frozen for two years straight.
Bill served as Public Advocate for the City of New York from 2010 to 2013, where he stopped thousands of teacher layoffs, saved good neighborhood schools, fought for fair compensation for first responders, debuted the city’s “Worst Landlords Watchlist” and advocated on behalf of New York City’s most vulnerable children.
Prior to his election as Public Advocate, Bill was elected to New York’s City Council in 2002. During his eight years in the Council, Bill focused his efforts on improving public education, engaging parents, expanding affordable housing and protecting New York’s middle-class and working families. Bill won millions in new investments in early childhood education and wrote the landmark tenants’ rights legislation to protect affordable housing and end landlord discrimination for everyday New Yorkers.
Before joining City Council, de Blasio served as Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign for U.S. Senate.
Bill graduated from New York University and studied at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Meet Chirlane McCray
Chirlane McCray, New York City’s First Lady, is a writer/poet, activist, and longtime partner of Mayor Bill de Blasio. As First Lady, McCray oversees a wide array of City initiatives to support working families and help every New Yorker succeed.
McCray created and spearheaded the administration’s signature mental health plan, ThriveNYC, a public health roadmap to support the one in five adult New Yorkers with mental health challenges. In her role as head of ThriveNYC, McCray also leads the Cities Thrive coalition, a group of mayors from 150 cities that advocates for stronger support and funding for mental health.
McCray has championed women’s and children’s rights as First Lady through her leadership on the Children’s Cabinet, and as co-chair of the Domestic Violence Task Force with NYPD Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill. She also serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, where she connects public, private, and philanthropic leaders to work on priority city matters, including youth employment, immigration, and behavioral health. In addition, she leads the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and launched the Gracie Mansion Book Club.
McCray has been honored with the 2017 Change Champion Award by the National Council for Behavioral Health and received the BWA Health Award from the Black Women’s Agenda for her leadership in NYC, and she holds an Honorary Doctor of Science from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.
Prior to her work as First Lady, McCray worked in a variety of fields over her 30-year career, including healthcare, government, and publishing. After moving to New York, Chirlane spent nearly a decade in magazine publishing, working as a writer, editor, and market research analyst, in addition to freelance writing for Essence magazine and performing spoken word poetry. In 1983 her work was published in Homegirls, a black feminist anthology still taught in college classes today.
McCray is a graduate of Wellesley College and the famed Radcliffe Publishing Course. While at Wellesley, McCray was a member of the Combahee River Collective, a pioneering black feminist collective. McCray and Mayor de Blasio are the proud parents of Chiara and Dante de Blasio.