Mayor Bill deBlasio on Sunday commended the 17 women, including First Lady Chirlane McCray, who were honored at the gala “Women Celebrating Women” award ceremony at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone, as the Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA) hosts its 24th Annual Women Celebrating Women gala,” said the mayor, accompanying his wife, who was among the honorees of diverse backgrounds.
“We remain steadfast in our mission to empower women of all backgrounds to fight for a more equitable New York City,” he added.
In these efforts, deBlasio said his administration was grateful for community partners, like Dr. Una S.T. Clarke and the PDPA “that are helping us advance our goals and change the way people think and act.”
In continuing last month’s celebration of Women’s History Month, the mayor said “these daring risk-takers and hard-working leaders inspire us all and play a vital role in communities across the five boroughs.
“And I am delighted to commend their achievements and applaud PDPA for its commitment to forging a stronger, more inclusive future for us all,” he said.
DeBlasio also applauded former Coucilwoman Dr. Clarke, his ex-colleague in the City Council, for “all she’s done for us — for the role model she’s done for us.
“Remember who you come to dance with,” he said. “We come to dance with Yvette (Clarke, the congresswoman) and Una Clarke.”
The mayor also praised, for their continuing support, several elected officials in attendance, including Assemblymen Nick Perry and Walter Mosely; Assemblywomen Annette Robinson, Diana Richardson, Rodneyse Bichotte and Latrice Walker; and Councilman Jumaane Williams.
He also lauded the first lady, saying that she does “wonderful things for the city.
“Besides a great woman is a great man, and vice versa,” he said, being politically correct. “What she has done — she has said that, if we don’t deal with the challenges of mental hygiene, we cannot solve other problems. She’s the first person who we can actually say we can change that.”
As a political organization, Dr. Clarke said PDPA strives to “propel our community to its higher ideals and involvement in the politics of our community.
“We seek to identify and support candidates with our values, to add our voice to the debate that is important to bring about social and political change for our people,” she said. “We invite you to join us in the struggle for fairness, equality and justice for all.”
Congresswoman Clarke said Sunday’s award ceremony carried a “special significance for us, as we celebrate the immense progress we have made for women individually and collectively,” urging patrons to exercise their franchise in voting in all elections.