5 Black People Who Could Be The Next Mayor Of New York City

2021 is thought to be an off-cycle election year, but several important races will be decided this year. One of the most important & high-profile contests will be for the mayor of New York City.

Incumbent Democrat Bill De Blasio is reaching the end of his final term & a crowded field of candidates has emerged to replace him, including figures like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Despite the city’s diversity & history, NYC has only had one Black mayor in its history: David Dinkins (1990). This time around, the race includes several Black contenders history may repeat itself. 

Here’s a look at five folks who could be New York City's next mayor.

This senior vice president for social justice at the New School & Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy teacher brings a combination of experience & recognition other candidates cant match.

Maya Wiley

She has an extremely long resume of fighting for justice civil rights, including gigs at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund & more

With De Blasio retiring, Wiley may be the closest clear successor to the mayor, having served in the administration as counsel to the mayor then chairwoman of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board.

For people outside of New York, Wiley is a regular on MSNBC, where she helps educate audiences on racial justice, police reform & societal change that Black people have been battling for some time.

has been Brooklyn borough president since 2014. The former NYPD captain founded “100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care,” & has been a strong critic of NYPD policies under previous mayors.

Eric Adams

Adams served in the state senate where he played a key role in banning police quotas – which majorly targeted Black and Latino folks– & getting “stop and frisk” declared unconstitutional. 

As you can imagine, police reform and bridging the divide between officers and citizens are among Adam’s top priorities, as are issues such as affordable childcare and year-round schooling.

Adams made a stir last year when he told gentrifiers to get out of his city. He went on to clarify his remarks, noting that he was requiring them to respect the city & communities they were moving to.

Now that Adams has declared his candidacy for mayor, such talk may cost him some votes but it also resonated with the city’s residents. With much of Brooklyn backing him, Adams is a strong candidate

Love it or hate it, Wall Street still wields enormous power and influence across America, especially in NYC. Ray McGuire is definitely the Wall Street candidate of this election. 

Raymond McGuire

McGuire’s long career at Citigroup saw him guide some of the largest business deals in the country. He has been working to secure the backing of his powerful friends and colleagues in big finance.

But McGuire is more than just a big-money guy. After George Floyd’s killing last year, McGuire powerfully called out the country’s top CEOs to make real contributions towards racial justice.

He put out an influential report that estimated just how much anti-Black racism has cost the United States: $16 trillion. 

grew up in a Puerto Rican household in BedStuy & recently brought her parents back to live with her and her two kids after earthquakes rocked Puerto Rico & the COVID-19 pandemic struck

Dianne Morales

She was the CEO of a New York non-profit that provides New Yorkers in low-income neighborhoods the opportunities they need to thrive in education and career programs and access to community services.

Morales’ platform includes defunding the police or “foot soldiers for a mass incarceration movement,’ as she calls them.

If she wins, she will be the first woman, the first Afro-Latina and the first single mother elected to New York City's highest office.

You might not know lawyer Isaac Wright Jr.’s name, but you know his story. He studied law while serving a life sentence in prison on drug charges. 

Isaac Wright Jr.

He was successful at having his case overturned and exposing the corruption of the prosecutor and police officer responsible for his imprisonment. Wright’s story inspired the show For Life, on ABC.

After winning his release Wright became a lawyer & now he’s looking to add Mayor to his story; addressing the racial, economic, environmental, and educational injustices that plague NYC’s institutions

He touts his experience navigating & overcoming the criminal justice system as key to reforming New York City. 

These five candidates and others will square off in the New York City Democratic primary on June 22, with the winner facing off against the Republican candidate in the general election on Nov. 2.