Fil-Am lawyer heads NYC human rights commission
MANILA, Philippines – Carmelyn Malalis, the new human rights commissioner in New York City, has a big job ahead of her.
What makes her new job difficult? She heads – as described by many New York residents – a largeless "toothless" agency. “The agency files too few cases, initiates too few investigations, levies too few fines and fails to meet its own timelines for resolving complains,” a report in the New York Times said.
Malalis, 40, was appointed Chair and Commissioner in November 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio. She succeeded Patricia L Gatling, who was appointed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Prior to her appointment, she spent a decade as a lawyer in private practice as an “advocate for employees’ rights in the workplace,” as her official biography states.
“I get that folks want to see results,” Malalis was quoted in the Times. “I know that we’re going to do some great work here,” she said.
Prior to Malalis’ appointment, the agency had been described as one that had “lost its step.” Malalis vows to change that, and she has already begun a full review of the commission’s operations. She’s looking at everything from how they investigate and process complaints.
She attended Yale for her undergraduate degree, earning a BA in women’s studies, before getting a law degree at Northeastern University.
Malalis has been awarded several awards for her work with New York’s marginalized communities. The Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) has also named her one of the 100 most influential FIlipinas in the world.
She is the daughter of Filipino immigrants and is married to a woman of Ethiopian descent. The couple have two daughters. – Rappler.com