Carolyn Maloney started her career as an ESL teacher in East Harlem, New York City. When her program was cut, her colleagues elected her as their advocate to restore funding - and she succeeded, setting an example that has extended throughout her career, first working with the Department of Education and then as a staffer in Albany.
Having gained expertise in the ropes of government in Albany, she returned to run for City Council in a district that spanned East Harlem, South Bronx, Manhattan Valley and Carnegie Hill - and she won. As a City Councilwoman, she fought to clean up government contracts, wrote legislation for public financing of elections, introduced NYS' first LGBTQ+ equality bill, and as the first woman to give birth in the role, fought to pass inclusive paid family leave - all goals she continues to pursue in government today.
Throughout her career, Carolyn has used her voice and position to shine a spotlight on the most important issues of our time - from getting arrested while protesting Apartheid as a city councilwoman to demanding all women and girls - globally - receive true equality and opportunity, to gun control, to demanding accountability for repairs for NYCHA residents, and keeping the Equal Rights Amendment alive and gaining new steam today.
It was her commitment to women's reproductive rights that drove her into Federal office - she filed her papers as soon as the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case put new restrictions on abortion in place. She was elected in a stunning upset victory by unseating an entrenched Republican incumbent who outspent her dramatically - because she had built a coalition of support that stretched throughout her entire district.
Carolyn Maloney has been described by The New York Times as a “prolific” legislator, one of a handful who “stand out for their moxie, kind of the way New Yorkers themselves often do.”
She has made her mark on Washington by standing on her strong and consistent record. Since every lawmaker in Washington knows where Carolyn stands, she has been able to fight tirelessly for New York, leading the Village Voice to call her “a tiger in the House on every dollar due New York.”
Time Magazine has called her “a tenacious, resilient legislator”, and even the New York Post hailed her as one of New York City’s “hardest working lawmakers”. With her hundreds of legislative accomplishments, this quintessential New Yorker quickly became a leader in Congress, earning the respect of her colleagues and ongoing support of her constituents. Her legislative accomplishments have been featured in three films - The Card Game, about her 2009 Credit CARD Act, Overdrawn, a feature-length documentary about predatory banking fees, and Life, Interrupted - a film inspired by Carolyn's work to author and pass the Debbie Smith Act, starring Lea Thompson as rape survivor Debbie Smith. In 2019, she won an 18-year fight to provide health care and compensation to the heroes and survivors of the 9/11 twin tower attacks, with the signing of her 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund bill into law. The fund, now permanently authorized, helps provide stability and compensation to those who rushed to help our country on its darkest day, and rebuild afterwards.
Today, Carolyn's position as a hard-hitting progressive leader is indisputable. She has shown a talent for fostering lasting bipartisan agreement in an increasingly polarized government, without giving up the ideals and causes she's fought for throughout her career: promoting equality, protecting consumers, building infrastructure that serves New Yorkers and the region, extending and protecting healthcare coverage for all, protecting the environment, and working to understand and find solutions for everyday issues like affordable housing and small business support.