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Chirlane McCray rolls out ‘power move’ website for women of NYC

May 16, 2018

First Lady Chirlane McCray and women in city government rolled out a new website Wednesday to connect women to city resources — an effort, she said, to help them make a “power move.”

But as the event wound down, McCray made a power move of her own — right out of the room as soon as it was time to take questions.

“I believe you are on your way to another engagement, but we will take Q&A on this topic,” Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said. “Thank you again, Chirlane, for being here.”

The public schedule for the first lady, who has said she is interested in seeking elective office herself, listed the event as having a question-and-answer segment.

A spokeswoman could not immediately say what event McCray had to attend. There is nothing on her public schedule until 6:30 p.m.

The quick departure comes after Mayor de Blasio has bristled about being asked questions on his wife’s positions, insisting she takes questions herself often.

“She’s taken questions many times, don’t — respectfully my friend, check your facts before you issue your statement,” de Blasio scolded a reporter who said she didn’t take question often. “She’s held a number of press conferences on a number of topics where people could have asked her anything they wanted.”

The new website, women.nyc, collects existing city resources, some of which Glen said are relatively new, that may be useful to women. A drop-down menu allows users to select what they want to do: find a job, run a business, manage money, afford city living, get legal help, continue their education, raise a child, and stay healthy.

“I wanted to know more information about doulas, and I wanted to know more information about breastfeeding and where you could go to breastfeed,” Laurie Cumbo said.

(Kevin C Downs/For New York Daily News)

“More women can have power over their careers and lives, whether that’s achieving their dreams as a writer or an artist, or finding a job with flexible hours or finally starting that business,” McCray said. “Power means something different for all women, but we are all better off when women can tap into their power.”

Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, a new mom, said she wished she’d had the site a couple years ago when she was preparing to become a parent.

“I wanted to know more information about doulas, and I wanted to know more information about breastfeeding and where you could go to breastfeed,” Cumbo said, also rattling off the myriad challenges women face when working while parenting and nursing.

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, chair of the committee on women, said women’s issues aren’t just about pushing back against men’s bad behavior.

“Pushing back against the patriarchy — isn’t that great, that we can now say words like patriarchy out loud?” she asked. “Pushing back means confronting harassment in the workplace, but it also means investing in women’s businesses, in women’s education, in women’s ideas.”

The event also featured women business owners who might have found the site helpful in launching their careers — like Nellie Torres, owner of construction services firm ProjectSpan.

“After you make your own power move, I really hope that you stand before another woman and help her make her own,” she said.

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