When the grassroots advocacy group 21 in ‘21 was founded in 2017, its goal was to elect more women to seats on the City Council. Now the organization is celebrating the first-ever woman majority in the City Council, with as many as 31 women heading to the 51-member body — many of them from Queens — pending certification of the election results.
“It’s an honor to be among the most diverse City Council in New York City history and the first to be a woman majority,” Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers said after winning re-election to a full term. “I’m so excited to work with these leaders to fight for policies that will empower and support women and working families. From maternal mortality to equal pay to family leave, we’re ready to get to work.”
Lynn Shulman of Forest Hills is poised to lead in District 29 when she replaces Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, the leader of the Queens City Council delegation, who is term-limited.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without 21 in ‘21,” Shulman said. “This is an incredible opportunity to make sure New York City works for everyone. We have important work to do with health care access, public safety reforms and investing in education. I look forward to working closely with my dynamic and diverse colleagues in making it happen.”
Councilwoman-elect Linda Lee, is on the verge of being the first woman elected to District 23, and the first Korean-American, along with Julie Won, who is poised to win the District 26 City Councils seat.
“The opportunity to serve as District 23’s first councilwoman is incredibly humbling, not only for what it means for me personally to break the glass ceiling, but also because I’m sending a message to other girls and women who aspire to public service,” Lee said. “I know that the incoming 21 in ‘21 class will work particularly hard once in office because we need to set an example for our communities and demonstrate excellence in action.”
Astoria’s Tiffany Cabán, who came close to becoming Queens district attorney, is poised to replace former Councilman Costa Constantinides.
“I am deeply honored to be the next City Council member for the 22nd District alongside such hardworking, compassionate, dope women who were elected to represent their districts,” Cabán said. “Together, we’re going to fight for people over profits, and communities over corporations. We’ll continue organizing together for an economy that prioritizes our small businesses, schools, combatting the climate crisis, and our workforce. And we’ll organize to secure funding for the services and supports that keep people housed and safe.”
21 in ‘21 endorsed and supported 25 of the 31 women who will likely make up the new majority.
“21 in ‘21 set an audacious goal and surpassed it,” 21 in ‘21 Executive Director Jessica Haller said. “The organization has brought women candidates and now Council members-elect of New York what they need at the time they needed it. We continue to support them and to strengthen the bonds with the new majority.”
One-third of the new majority are mothers; one-third were first-time candidates; and two-thirds are women of color.
As a non-partisan organization, 21 in ‘21 will work with all members of the new majority to prepare for day one, according to Vice Chair of 21 in ‘21 Yvette Buckner.
“21 in ‘21 is not just about getting women elected, but also about setting them up for long-term success,” Buckner said. “Together with city, state and national women elected officials and stakeholders, we will provide invaluable resources and institutional support that will help these women hone their leadership skills, continue to serve in higher-level positions, and continue to make ‘her-story.’”