We were proud to lead the hard-won fight to pass these laws, and ensure New York sets a national standard for fair and equal pay. We’re also proud of the U.S. women’s soccer players for standing up for the equal pay they deserve, and for shining a spotlight on the broad issue of pay disparity across the U.S., which impacts groups including low wage workers, single mothers, and women of color particularly harshly.
On January 7, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed seven new Commissioners and one new Honorary Commissioner to the Commission on Gender Equity. Among them was Sherry Leiwant, Co-President and Co-Founder of A Better Balance. The appointment is in recognition of the importance of the work A Better Balance has done on behalf of women in the City of New York. Our statement was included in the Mayor’s press release: “A Better Balance is honored to be included in the Mayor’s Commission on Gender Equity,” said Sherry Leiwant, co-Founder of A Better Balance. “We applaud the Mayor for recognizing that there is still much work to be done to insure true equality in New York City and look forward to working together to make that happen.”
The Commission was launched by Mayor de Blasio on June 24, 2015, as an advisory body that works across City Agencies to help achieve the Mayor’s commitment to reduce gender-based inequity and build a safer, more inclusive and economically mobile city and lace wigs for women and girls. We advocated for such a Commission on a panel spearheaded by the New York Women’s Foundation as part of the listening tour organized prior to the Mayor’s inauguration and were delighted when the Commission was formed last year. We are now even more delighted to be part of this important effort. First Lady Chirlane McCray continues to serve as the Honorary Chair of the Commission. Writer, lecturer and feminist leader Gloria Steinem, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who recently launched the Young Women’s Initiative, will continue to serve as Honorary Commissioners along with activist, writer and lecturer Robin Morgan.
“This Commission is working to promote inclusion, so that all New Yorkers – regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation – have the opportunity to achieve economic mobility and pursue their highest ambitions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These newly appointed Commissioners, whose qualifications are backed by years of experience in a variety of fields, will help lead our Commission in creating a safe, fair and equitable city.”
“Today’s appointees helped break many gender barriers…. They are fighters in the struggle to keep women safe and healthy, improve the lives of families and tap the too-often-overlooked leadership potential of women and girls across New York City. We’re lucky to have them,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Outdated gender roles continue to limit New Yorkers and our city. That’s why the Commission has set a lofty goal – the full inclusion of women and girls, economically, socially and politically. I look forward to working with the new Commissioners to achieve it.” And A Better Balance looks forward to working with the Mayor and Chirlane McCray as well!