Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney and now former MSNBC and NBC News contributor, is said to be mulling a run for mayor of New York City. According to the New York Times, the former board chair for the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board left her role at the network to seriously consider the new position.
Though Wiley has not confirmed her decision to run nor a timeframe for when and if she would formalize plans, NYT reports that social justice activist has been meeting with elected officials, union leaders and those in the justice space to discuss the potential bid.
Wiley, who served as a top counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, is likely to be a popular choice despite her former boss being unfavorable among a large swath of New Yorkers. In the age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests, the daughter of George A. Wiley, a lauded civil rights leader could bill herself as the change that’s needed in a city riled by inequities stemming from race.
Currently, the potential Democratic lineup is extensive and includes Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, Dianne Morales, the Afro-Latina CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, an organization that fights poverty, and Jocelyn Taylor, a Black woman who founded NYC MWBE Alliance, a non-profit that aims to assist minority and women-owned businesses with access to opportunities. Several have already started raising money toward the election that will take place next June.
Though Wiley is expected to see stiff competition from the likes of Adams, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and city comptroller Scott M. Stringer, face and name recognition from appearing on NBC are something she has working in her favor. On Twitter, Wiley has more than 332,000 followers and is respected for hot takes on politics and social justice. She’s also been vocal about police brutality during a time of civil unrest triggered by the killings of too many unarmed Black men and women.
If Wiley were to succeed in a bid for NYC mayor, the Brooklyn resident would become the first woman to do so, and the second African-American elected to the office.