A diverse crowd of Women and girls from New York City’s five boroughs packed the City Council Chambers beyond capacity on Monday for the Second Annual Women’s Herstory Month Celebration.
The Council acknowledged Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for making history as the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold the position and Public Advocate Letitia James for being the first Black and woman of color elected to a citywide office.
Thirty-five, past and present women in city government and the private sector recognized as ‘sheroes’ and trailblazers with vision “that have transform all of our lives for better” were honored and presented with citations during the ceremony.
“One month is not enough to recognize women for their leadership and incredible work year-round in communities across the City of New York. From the classroom to the boardroom, women are integral to community and economic development. I am proud to join my colleagues in the New York City Council in celebrating the trailblazers who have made a tremendous impact in the neighborhoods they serve each and every day,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, chair of the Women’s Issues Committee.
The Council Women’s Caucus co-chair and Queens 30th District Council member, Elizabeth Crowley during her presentation said that every woman present at the event has personal story of overcoming adversity and that is why the Council celebrated ‘Herstory’ adding when women come together and share their stories and collective struggles they work stronger together as women.
“It is time for us to confront the challenge we still face especially in the workforce. Women make 78 cents of every dollar earned by men, is this fair? When it comes to financial workers on Wall Street or elected officials in the chambers such as the council our numbers are far too few, I ask the people in this room can we do better?”
Council member Crowley also said, “This year the Women’s Caucus is going to get women the higher paying jobs they deserved. We are going to get women hired in non-traditional employment industries in construction and emergency management. Get more women in executive model positions in the private sector.”
Performances by hip-hop artist Girl Be Heard, FJ Music Fusion (Chinese duo of Feifei Yang – violinist & Jiaju Shen lute player) and a slamming poetry recital by New York City Youth Poet Laureate accentuated the celebration.
Public Advocate Letitia James, a former member of the Council said in her closing remarks, “From time and time again, throughout history women have been attacked. We’ve been subjugated and dehumanized, women have been denied their sovereignty over their bodies, denied their rights to vote, denied their rights to participate in the economy, denied their rights to own property, denied their rights to lead but no more. We are in leadership positions throughout the city of New York, state of New York and soon, soon in the United States of America,”
The Women Caucus of New York City Council describes its mission on the Council‘s website as to advance women’s rights and promotes the goal of equality in New York City through influences in public policy through education, legislation and advocacy. It also envisions women achieving their true potential, contributing their diverse talents and participating equally and fully in society.