One day after Mayor Bill de Blasio named his wife Chirlane McCray to co-chair a task force on racial equity in the COVID-19 recovery, a City Hall spokeswoman says the task force has no authority to make decisions and is not designed to promote his wife’s political career.
“The entity itself does not have decision making power,” Jane Meyer, a spokeswoman for the de Blasio administration told NBC New York. “This group will be an ear to the ground and will be able to raise issues quickly or suggest ways to better connect with and serve communities that are most impacted."
Some critics said Mayor de Blasio is playing politics by giving the high profile role to his wife, who is said to be considering a run for Brooklyn borough president in 2021.
“The COVID-19 crisis in communities of color is real and deserves thoughtful leadership and swift action, not unqualified cronyism and nepotism,” said City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, who is running for Brooklyn borough president.
Meyer said “Suggestions about ulterior motives are not based in reality.”
The mayor responded to criticisms of the decision during an interview late Monday, saying the task force focuses on a topic that "has been her life's work" and that she will be joined with others who have dedicated themselves to similar pursuits.
"I love my wife deeply, but I also admire my wife deeply for what she's given her whole life over to, which is the work of equity," de Blasio said.