Kathryn Garcia, Former Sanitation Commissioner, Announces Mayoral Campaign

A New York City Department of Sanitation front end loader removes snow in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Kathryn Garcia has announced her mayoral bid for New York City on Thursday afternoon.

She served as New York City’s  Commissioner for the Department of Sanitation from 2014-2020, and served as the food supply and distribution czar during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

A lifelong civil servant, Garcia also served as Senior Advisor for Citywide Lead Prevention in 2018, and interim Chair of the New York City Housing Authority in 2019.

Garcia was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she still lives. She was one of five adopted children.

In her campaign ad, Garcia declared, “Don’t put me at a podium in front of a press conference. I want to be where I can solve problems.”

During her virtual campaign launch, she laid out her three major priorities: coronavirus recovery, restore confidence and competence in basic government service, and combating climate change.

She noted that her job in sanitation was tough, nonpartisan work–everyone wants the garbage to be collected on time–and she drew wide praise for her competence and campaigns.

“Kathryn Garcia is the most talented, hard-working person I’ve ever worked with,” said Harry Nespoli, the head of Local 831, the sanitation workers union. “She managed the largest sanitation department in the world, which by the way is 96% male, and along the way won the respect of every person there. There is no person better qualified to take over City Hall.”

In an announcement release by her campaign, other policy priorities would include free childcare, accessible internet for lower income communities, expanded access to city colleges, eliminating wasteful government spending, expanding specialized garbage pickup, and upgrading the city’s bus fleet.

“Those who have worked with me over the years know me as someone who gets things done. I’ve been the go-to crisis manager and the woman who can’t say no to a tough gig and does it well,” Garcia said, touting her decades of experience in bureaucracy.

She did not take any questions during her virtual announcement.

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