De Blasio Appoints Wife To Unpaid Position

NEW YORK -

Declaring that New Yorkers’ vote for him in November included a vote for his “vision,” Mayor Bill de Blasio moved Thursday to give his wife an official position in city government, saying that she was an integral part of his dream for the city.

Chirlane McCray was named chairwoman of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a group that promotes partnerships between the city and the private sector. The voluntary, unpaid position established during Rudolph Giuliani’s administration will be housed in a Broadway office and will control a city-provided budget that last year was $37 million.

Its wide-ranging causes include the environment, youth development, health, financial empowerment, volunteerism and the arts. Her chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, will receive an annual salary of $170,000.

“My mission is to help families get the support they need,”
McCray said in a joint statement released by the mayor’s office. “No matter how much they earn or what zip code they call home, I want them to have access to the same kind of resources my family depended on.”

De Blasio made the announcement at The Osborne Association in the Bronx, an organization helps people who’ve had problems with the law get back on the right track.

McCray has long been seen as de Blasio’s top advisor during the campaign and is expected to have a role to play in his administration, perhaps the most powerful for a first lady in Big Apple history.