This September our monthly muse is Cynthia Nixon, actor and progressive advocate, currently running for governor of New York (and yes we think she'll move the city in the right direction!)
Personally, I am embarrassed to admit that I have never been highly interested or engaged in politics, even though as a 21st-century woman, I'm told I very much should be. Living in Hong Kong I guess I feel somewhat left out of politics where I'm an expat, a very weak excuse I know! During some recent (very) questionable political decisions I'll admit my interest has peaked. I believe that sometimes it’s due to the bad spells our attention is caught, which in turn makes us become inspired to want to act for change in the right direction. In recent political slumps (you know what I'm talking about), when morale was at an all-time low and I had very little faith in humanities decisions, I did muster a chuckle at the memes and hashtags that started to go viral in protest. #CHERFORPRESIDENT #RHINANAFORPRESIDENT #OPRAHFORPRESIDENT …to name a few. So, when I saw #MIRANDAFORGOVENOR seriously start trending …I thought hold on a minute?! Miranda from Sex and the City?! Now, this is some political news I can follow. Because if the IRL Miranda, aka Cynthia Nixon is anything like her SATC character, sign me up for a green card, I am sold! I'm not pigeonholing Cynthia to her character on the show and even though pop culture celebrity personel in government hasn’t always been my cup of tea, I am actually very interested in what Cynthia has to say.
Cynthia is a New Yorker, through and through. She grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she was raised by her single mother in a one bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment. With this deep rooted understanding of the city, she has grouds for understanding a large majority of the population but also doesn't claim to know it all. Unlike most politicians, Cynthia also rides the New York subway nearly every day and understands the toll that the poorly managed public transport is taking on New Yorkers daily. Talk about a voice of the people!
Cynthia is married to longtime education organszer Christine Marinoni, who until recently, worked at the New York City Department of Education. They are proud parents to their three children, Sam, Charlie, and Max, who like herself are all New York City public school students or graduates. For the last 17 years, Cynthia has been fighting for better schools and more equal education funding across the state, by becoming a spokesperson and organiser for the Alliance for Quality Education, an organisation which helped to save hundreds of millions of dollars in education budget cuts. Cynthia has traveled the state extensively to meet with legislators over the years and spoken out in Albany on several occasions to request that public schools in every district get the resources they need, regardless of income level. For her work promoting educational and racial justice in New York state, she was honoured at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Triumph Awards.
@cynthiaenixon From my mom to Wonder Woman,
I've always looked up to women who are warriors. #tbt
A lifelong Democrat, you may have spotted Cynthia at the odd LGBTQI+ event. This is because Cynthia is also a well-known outspoken advocate for LGBTQI+ equality. In 2010, Cynthia helped create Fight Back New York, which was an effort to remove state Senators opposed to same-sex marriage. The campaign raised an amazing $800,000 and helped elect three new Senators in support of marriage equality. Cynthia has also worked with the Empire State Pride Agenda to fight for marriage equality in New York state and traveled around the country to support similar agendas. In 2010, GLAAD rightfully awarded Cynthia with the Vito Russo Award, given to an LGBTQI+ person in the media.
Cynthia has also pushed for women’s reproductive rights, including representing Planned Parenthood in Albany to advocate for the full Women’s Equality Agenda, including the right to choose - a far cry from what is going on in today’s American climate. A breast cancer survivor herself, Cynthia has been a spokesperson educating women about the importance of early detection and being proactive about seeking treatment.
During her governor role Cynthia plans to tackle issues such as fixing the subway, having single-payer health care, reproductive freedom, universal rent control, a fair economy for all, climate justice, legaliSing marijuana, disability rights, immigrant rights and ending corruption … which sounds like a breath of fresh air compared to the current leaders of America. And all problems that she has encountered first-hand from living in the city. With all her success through acting though, why is Cynthia running? “I’m running for governor because I love this state. New York is the only place I’ve ever lived, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I know that we can do better. We need a New York that works for all of us – a New York for the many, not just the few”
“New York has become the single most unequal state in the country. The top 1 percent of New Yorkers earn 45 times more than the bottom 99 percent. Black and Latino families in New York still earn much less than white families. Women still earn much less than men.”
Even if you are not a New Yorker, heading to the big apple or planning to live there, I am sure you are interested in Cynthia’s message of hope for a brighter, equal future for all. To find out more about her campaign before the vote on September 13th head on over to Cynthia’s website