More and more, First Lady Chirlane McCray is in the spotlight.
Appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, McCray is co-chairing the "Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity." one of several working groups formed by the mayor as the city begins the long road to recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.
"This is comprised of 70 leaders of this administration from across a wide range of agencies, leaders of color, as Chirlane said, who understand our communities, understand changes that can and must be made," de Blasio said Thursday during his Thursday during his daily coronavirus briefing at City Hall.
McCray joined de Blasio to announce a $3 million program aimed at helping some of the city's smallest restaurants. It will reach one hundred restaurants to start.
"We must tend to the small businesses at the heart and soul of our neighborhoods, especially our restaurants," McCray said.
Talk about the first lady's political aspirations has been in the air for months. She is said to be considering a run for Brooklyn borough president.
"I don't know what the future holds for me. I'm not someone who thrives in the limelight. I don't, like, need the attention of both being in front of the cameras. In fact, it's very difficult for me," McCray said.
Over the last few weeks, as a tense city debated race and the future of policing, de Blasio has come under sustained criticism from nearly all sides.
He has sought to credit McCray with contributing to his administration's evolving response, including a still vague announcement about shifting money from the police department to social services.
During Thursday's announcement, it was McCray who took credit for changes, even though the police budget is not yet finalized and details about how the NYPD's disciplinary process will change have yet to be detailed.
"Our job is not only to listen, but to act," McCray said. "We've brought fundamental changes to the NYPD, including shifting money to youth programs and hiring community ambassadors within the department."
The mayor, meanwhile, has been consistently defensive when asked about his wife's role and possible future political runs.
"I don't know what was motivating the critics, but this has been the fact from Day One, long before she even considered anything in terms of public office," he said.
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