Since the very first mayoral election in New York City, every mayor has had one thing in common: They have all been men. This year, the city has seen an influx of women running for the position of mayor, comprising 12 out of the 40 total candidates in the race. This is the highest rate of female candidates in the city’s history, and it should come as no surprise after the recent election of Vice President Kamala Harris.
With a female Vice President, the nation’s political dynamics have drastically progressed from the traditional patriarchy. Voters and legislation have become more open-minded toward women holding positions of political power, and women are finally taking a stand. For too many years, our states have been primarily represented by men. Thanks to Harris, women everywhere are aspiring to have a seat at the political table.
Despite doubt from a multitude of voters, candidates like Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley led a strong campaign for the June primary elections. While these women have stepped up to the plate to lead the city of New York, they will still undoubtedly face the backwards views of some voters in this city. According to a survey done by City & State New York, 88% of respondents said that a woman will not become the next mayor, even though they are all qualified for the position. Sadly, their response is widely representative of persisting old-school, sexist beliefs.
To see a woman elected as New York’s next mayor would show young women that they can be just as, if not more, successful as a leader than men. Our country’s politics have been monopolized by men for centuries and now women finally have a chance to be fairly represented by someone with their interests in mind. This year, we have hundreds of women, countrywide, holding positions at the legislative and executive levels, and hopefully New York will follow suit.
I believe that these 12 experienced women have a strong chance of becoming New York’s next mayor, especially Kathryn Garcia. Garcia was the former commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation and had four years of experience handling the city’s sewage and water supply, along with other vital means of maintaining a functioning city. New York has suffered from the repercussions of COVID-19 and is in desperate need of new leadership that will get the city back on its feet. Having a female candidate can bring a fresh perspective in approaching the city’s much needed recovery process, which we have yet to experience.