CANARSIE — In one of her first public speaking appearances since officially becoming the first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray spoke out about the need for immigration reform, hinting at what her future role in NYC government could be.
In brief remarks ahead of a roundtable discussion at the Christian Cultural Center in Canarsie Wednesday night, McCray screened a short video in which she and her two children, Dante and Chiara de Blasio, discussed their own family history of immigration.
“Whether you’ve recently arrived in the United States or been here for generations, you know the benefits of reforming our immigration laws cannot be denied,” McCray told the crowd of a few hundred in six-minute opening remarks.
In the short film, McCray's children identified themselves as “G3s,” or third-generation immigrants, who count three of their four maternal great-grandparents as immigrants from Barbados.
McCray’s remarks followed a week of uncertainty regarding her role in the new mayor’s administration. On Monday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio and McCray announced that they were hiring Rachel Noerdlinger, a longtime aide to civil rights activist and media personality the Rev. Al Sharpton, to be McCray's chief of staff at a salary of $170,000. McCray will not receive a salary for her work for the city, de Blasio's team said.
While de Blasio has made it clear he expects McCray to be an important part of his administration going forward, no details about Noerdlinger’s responsibilities or McCray’s role as first lady have been released.
McCray was not available for questions after her remarks Wednesday.