Catholic Saint Gets Statue After All Despite De Blasio's Wife's Best Efforts

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 12:20 PM
Catholic Saint Gets Statue After All Despite De Blasio's Wife's Best Efforts

Source: AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

A few months ago we covered the fact that Chirlaine McCray, the wife of failed presidential primary candidate and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, circumvented the will of the voters who participated in an online poll conducted by the city in order to pick and choose which women would be honored with new statues in the Big Apple. Most voters chose a literal saint, Mother Cabrini, but McCray overrode those opinions and decided her committee would instead honor literal drag queens and abortion activists. Now, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will pay for a Cabrini statue after all. 

Here's some background on this fiasco:

The program "She Built NYC"  was created in 2018 chaired by Chirlane McCray, De Blasio's wife. Its purpose is to honor historic women who helped shape and form NYC. Recently, She Built NYC asked the public  to participate in an online poll "to nominate women for a potential statue and the campaign received over 2,000 votes for over 300 eligible women." 

Catholic St. Frances Xavier Cabrini received the most amount of votes with 219 nominations. This was more than double the second-place finisher, Jane Johnson. But here's what happened via Christine Rousselle:

Despite the public vote, the New York Post reported on Aug. 10 that the selection committee, led by McCray and former New York deputy mayor Alicia Glen, had excluded the first American saint from the planned statutes, instead choosing to honor Rep. Shirley Chisolm, Katherine Walker, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Billie Holiday, and Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias. They received the third, fifth, seventh, 19th, 22nd, 24th and 42nd-most nominations, respectively. 

As Christine notes, "LGBT rights activists Johnson and Rivera were biological males and will be featured together in a single statue." 

Likewise, Dr. Rodriguez-Trias received just seven nominations. Her contribution to the city includes being one of the founding members of the Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse. Sounds like a real winner.

On Monday, which was also Columbus Day, Gov. Cuomo announced that state funds would be used to build the statue. 

"Mother Cabrini was a great New Yorker, a great Italian-American immigrant," Gov. Cuomo said at the annual Columbus Day Parade. "She came to this city and she helped scores of immigrants who came to New York." 

The New York Diocese has raised $17,000 to erect a statue in honor of the legendary woman. But, Gov. Cuomo declared the state should assist the project as well.

"We should applaud their courage and their activism," Cuomo said earlier this week. "But my friends, we should even do more. We should support them. Let’s join with them tonight. Let’s stand up and demand respect for our community. Let’s lead the way by taking action and let’s build a memorial to Mother Cabrini." 

Mayor De Blasio, for his part, accused the governor of having an agenda.

"God bless him," Mayor De Blasio said of Gov. Cuomo. "But again, it’s a lot of people out there for whatever agendas, playing a lot of games. It’s not fair to people."