NEW YORK CITY — Civil rights attorney and political newcomer Maya Wiley says she's ready to make history as New York City's first woman mayor.
The longtime lawyer explained to PIX11's Dan Mannarino Friday why she finally decided to run after years of mulling over the decision.
"I am not a conventional candidate and it is absolutely what New York needs at this time," Wiley said.
A former aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Wiley said her experience at City Hall gives her a unique edge. "Seeing and knowing firsthand how it gets done and what gets in the way – What makes me different is what makes me the right person for this moment," she said.
Despite her professional relationship with the mayor, Wiley shared her honest thoughts on de Blasio's leadership through the pandemic.
"I know that it is an extremely tough job and an extremely tough time...but I have to give the mayor a low grade," she said. "The reality is, we should have closed schools sooner. We should have had much greater participation, well before this, on how to reopen schools and how to reopen them safely."
Wiley was also clear about her priorities for the city's future.
"Day one starts with economic recovery. Our people need jobs," she said. "This is a city that is sitting on resources," referring to the city's capital budget that covers larger, long-term investments.
The former chairperson of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board, Wiley also shared her ideas on police reform.
"We have seen very aggressive tactics when it comes to certain kinds of demonstrations and some communities, and it is absolutely unacceptable," she said.
Wiley also spoke on rethinking the idea of policing.
"Police don't like being called for things that don't require a badge and a gun. That's not why they signed up for the force," she said.
Wiley faces a growing field of contenders.
After his campaign kicked off last month, Comptroller Scott Stringer has gained early momentum.
Buzz is also building around Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams. Last month Adams said on the PIX11 Morning News “you will be the first to know when we make an official announcement.”
Former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia is also thought to be considering a mayoral run.
Political sources tell PIX11 News former Obama Administration Official Shaun Donovan and Citigroup Vice Chairman Ray McGuire are also expected to enter the race in the coming weeks.