Maya Wiley
Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley advocates for the Adult Survivors Act during a press conference outside Columbia University, May 26, 2021.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

First-time candidate Maya Wiley, a former MSNBC analyst who served as counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, is among the race’s moreprogressive candidates.

A civil rights attorney who began her career with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1992, Wiley has focused her campaign on racial and economic justice and police reform. She wants to eliminate the next two classes of police cadets as part of a plan to shift $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget and has recommended $5,000 grants to help poor families pay for child care. Her most ambitious proposal is a $10 billion “New Deal New York” plan, billed as “Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus and jobs program.”

Wiley has earned the backing of the city’s largest labor union, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, and notched endorsements from Brooklyn U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries.

Wiley has demanded the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and her Democratic mayoral rival, Scott Stringer, both of whom have been accused of sexual misconduct and have denied the charges.

During her campaign, the 57-year-old Brooklyn resident has repeatedly distanced herself from de Blasio, for whom she served as in-house lawyer. In 2015 and 2016, when de Blasio was investigated for questionable fund-raising practices, she spearheaded the administration’s legal response.

“Women should not be defined by anything other than their record,” she told The New York Times. “I’m not running against Bill de Blasio.”



THE CITY sent three multiple-choice surveys to every Democratic and Republican mayoral candidate on the ballot for the June 22 primary, starting in February. See how Maya Wiley answered below.

Read more about how we surveyed the candidates.