It Does Take a Village

When Mayor Bill de Blasio established the NYC Children’s Cabinet—a multi-agency initiative designed to foster stronger working relationships among city agencies whose major responsibilities include, promoting children’s wellbeing—he did not anticipate being called the “Baby’s Mayor.”

Center staff members, Jay Holder and Geraldine Downey, were invited to visit the Cabinet’s Baby Shower at Roy Wilkins Parks in Queens on March 12. They were amazed at the atmosphere and to the initiative’s approach to child development. Jay explained, “It was like being back in a human development course. They not only offered games and gifts to mothers and children, but they also provided parents with critical information on child development that included vital factors such as nutrition, and readings on healthy development.” Jay further elaborated, “I left that shower realizing that I had to do more. When the organizers said they would be having another shower for mothers on Rikers Island, the empathy employed by government hugged me at my core, and I started sending pictures of the event to my colleagues and contacts.”

A contact at Nickelodeon was the first to respond to the invitation and agreed to participate at the event. On Tuesday, June 19th(Juneteenth), approximately fifty mothers and sixty children celebrated the essence of motherhood together with dozens of agencies and organizations, such as the Osborne Association and The Fortune Society. Jay added, “I know that Chirlane McCray is out there attending most of the events, being hands on with the families, but I have to give a nod to Bill for understanding the need for this initiative, and the long-term significance these courses of actions have on the lives of others. For that, he is not just the mayor, he is the Baby’s Mayor.”