During a visit to the Talking Transition tent in SoHo on Tuesday, Chirlane McCray said she liked the openness of the tent, but was much less open about her husband’s plans for the transition to City Hall. Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio says his wife, Chirlane McCray, will not be a traditional first lady of New York.
Indeed, she is already stepping out on her own, making an unannounced visit to the Talking Transition tent to survey the scene.
“I love it. It feels open and airy. I like the idea that so many people have come in here and logged their opinions and talked about what their priorities are for the city,” McCray said.
McCray took a tour of the tent, which is open to the public.
“I can't wait to walk around and see what you’re doing. I've heard so much about it,” she said.
She signed in at the front, stopped to listen to some talks going on and posed for a photo op.
But while she was happy to talk about her visit, she was reluctant to discuss the real transition taking place in the city, the one involving her husband.
“It's a big job, but everything is going smoothly,” she said.
McCray would not get into specifics, though. She refused to say, for instance, even if they have started interviewing potential hires. She would know if they had. McCray is expected to weigh in on every major appointment in the administration. De Blasio says the two of them signed off together on who would lead his transition team.
“I’m a sounding board. I'm a partner. I have no official role,” she said.
McCray disputed the idea that her husband's transition has so far been a closed process. The mayor-elect has largely stayed out of the public eye since his election. And there is little indication from his team about how he is spending his time. McCray says they will be sharing more very soon.
“"I will say that it will be open, that the whole point of transition is to bring in new ideas and new people. It is just early in the process. In the coming days you will see a great gathering will occur of minds and people,” McCray said.
So far Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has not been spotted at the Talking Transition tent, but the future first lady says she will be reporting back.