Moving NYC Forward

YP Spotlights of the Month

March: Gender Equality

We honored ABNY YP’s making strides to advance gender equality
Congratulations to our March Spotlights of the Month, Chelsea Goldinger and Sasha Ahuja!

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Chelsea Goldinger

Government Relations Manager at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center
How did you get to where you are today?

Defaulting to “yes” early on in my career, and later learning the value of saying “no.” Asking for help and knowing when to step back, listen, and learn. I also write everything down, I am obsessed with lists and inbox zero. And the easiest part, I follow my passion. For me, that means helping women and girls through whatever I am doing.

What are you most proud of?

In 2014, I helped Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul plan roundtables with college students to discuss the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and ways to help. This was especially meaningful for me; I had the opportunity to work on an issue that is deeply personal and provide a space for young women whose voices are too often silenced.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?

Don’t be scared to ask for help and admit what you don’t know. I built meaningful relationships through reaching out to people who I admire (and sometimes have never met!) to ask for their advice. Over-prepare for every meeting; you never know where it will lead. Also, networking events, especially those geared towards feminists, can be super fun and social! Show up at events and get to know people. Chances are you’ll make a new friend.

When did you realize you are a New Yorker?

The day I rode my Citi Bike to catch the ferry to Greenpoint to head to a cocktail bar where the drinks were cheaper than in Manhattan.

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Sasha Ahuja

Chief of Staff at Girls for Gender Equity
How did you get to where you are today?

Since I was 17 years old, I have worked on the front lines of the progressive movement – from grassroots labor organizations to direct service to political campaigns to city government. In all of these years, my work has been fundamentally the same – driving teams of dedicated people to advance a racial and gender justice agenda in the face of unprecedented threats to our communities, increasing uncertainty in our work and inevitably, the nonstop news cycle. I got to where I was by continuing to move with our movement – and being unapologetic about my vision for a more just city.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being able to see the necessity for an “inside-outside” strategy to advance progressive change. The best example of this was in 2015 – I served as Deputy Director of the Policy Division to former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. In response to a call to action from feminist activists across the country in response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, we launched the first dedicated initiative for women and girls of color, the New York City Young Women’s Initiative. The City Council advanced numerous policy and legislative priorities that lifted up women and girls of color, continues to fund the Young Women’s Initiative at +$5M a year and we spurred the creation of the Commission on Gender Equity.

What advice would you give to other Young Professionals wanting to work in your field?

You’re not too good or too smart or too experienced to answer the phone, make copies or stuff envelopes. Don’t be that person.

When did you realize you are a New Yorker?

When I was 16, my dad taught me how to drive by putting me on the Belt Parkway and saying, “go!” Pretty damn New York to me.

All spotlights’ opinions expressed on this page are their own.

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