And women shall lead them.
Yesterday’s elections in New York City were historic on many fronts. Democrat Eric Adams easily beat out Curtis Sliwa for major and will become America’s largest city’s second Black mayor in history.
On a more local level, Democrat Vanessa Gibson sailed to victory and will become the first female and Black borough president in Bronx history.
But that’s not all.
Also for the first time in history, The Bronx will be represented by a female majority in the New York City Council as five of the nine seats were won by women in yesterday’s citywide elections.
Diana Ayala (D) easily won her reelection bid for City Council District 8, which is half in the South Bronx with the rest in East Harlem, as she ran unopposed. Ayala will be joined by a cadre of newly elected women come this January when the new administration takes over.
In the East Bronx, Marjorie Velasquez (D) won her bid to represent City Council District 13 which covers Morris Park, Country Club, Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck, City Island in the only race in The Bronx where a Republican candidate, Aleksander Mici, gave a Democratic candidate a run for their money. With almost 96% of precincts reporting as of this writing, Velasquez is at 55.24% vs Mici at 44.55% ensuring her victory to replace outgoing Council Member Mark Gjonaj.
Over in the West Bronx, Pierina Ana Sanchez (D) sailed to a landslide victory in City Council District 14 to replace outgoing Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
Next, we have Althea Stevens (D) also cruising to victory in City Council District 16 to replace Vanessa Gibson who will become our next Borough President.
Finally, back in the East Bronx we have Amanda Farias (D) who also easily won her bid to represent City Council District 18 and will replace Ruben Diaz who, like his son the current Borough President, will be retiring after his term is up at the end of the year.
But women won’t just only be the majority in The Bronx but they will now be the majority come January in the New York City Council 30 women will likely be elected to the legislative body by the time all votes are counted.
This is a victory for Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former New York City Council Speaker who represented The Bronx and made it her mission to get more women elected to the council who was concerned at the decline of women in the legislative body after she was term-limited in 2017 and that number dropped to 11.
To that end, Mark-Viverito started an initiative called ’21 in 21′ with a goal of electing 21 women to the city council in this year’s race. Her organization not only met that goal but exceeded it and made history for New York City.
The incoming members are also the most diverse in our city’s history and representative of its residents so perhaps we shall see a more equitable city in the future.