Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

NYC Wants To Put More Women On Pedestals

July 31, 2018 - 12:31 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 88) -- The city is trying to correct a monumental wrong.

Across the five boroughs, 90 percent of the public monuments are male. In Central Park, there are 22 statues of men and just two are women -- both are fictional characters.

First Lady Chirlane McCray and Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, have launched the She Built NYC initiative in an effort to put more women on pedestals.

“There are big gaps in our City’s public art, with few statues of women, trans and gender nonconforming people,” said McCray. “The message that lack of representation sends is that these people have no value and did not make contributions to our city. This first step we are taking will help us more accurately show the diversity in the people who helped make New York City so great.”

And they're asking the public for their picks.

One submission comes from the New York Road Runners Club.

"New York Road Runners has nominated Grete Waitz who is the nine-time champion of the New York City Marathon," said Road Runners Vice President Christine Burke. "She's left quite a legacy of running for youth and community programs."

Waitz inspired women runners and founded a youth running program in the city, Burke said.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond stopped in Midtown to ask New Yorkers for other suggestions.

"I would say Maya Angelou. She definitely had an influence on my life," one woman said.

"I would go with Indira Gandhi," another woman said.

"I would pick probably Michelle Obama only because everything she's done with the lunch programs in schools and public schools and public health," another said.

Nominations are being accepted through Wednesday at women.nyc.

According to a press release, "visitors to women.nyc can submit nominations of women, groups of women, and events involving women that significantly impacted the history of New York City. Nominated events must have happened at least 20 years ago; nominated individuals must no longer be living and known for an event, movement, or action that took place at least 20 years ago."