Carolyn Bosher Maloney was born on February 19, 1946, in Greensboro, North Carolina. After earning a B.A. from Greensboro College in 1968, she worked as a New York City Board of Education employee (1972-76); a legislative aide and senior program analyst for two New York State Assembly committees (1977-79); an adviser and director in the office of the New York State Senate’s minority leader (1979-82); and a Democratic member of the New York City Council (1982-92). She also volunteered for Mario Cuomo’s mayoral and gubernatorial campaigns in 1977 and 1984, respectively. In 1992 the voters of New York’s 14th Congressional District elected Maloney to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she has served ever since, though in 2013 her district was renumbered as the 12th. Maloney is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In 1986 Maloney supported the efforts of the so-called Great Peace Marchers, a group of several hundred activists who walked some 3,500 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, to promote the cause of global nuclear disarmament. When the marchers, on their way to DC, arrived in New York City on October 23, 1986, Maloney and several other local politicians—including David Dinkins, Mark Green, Ruth Messinger, Jerrold Nadler, and David Paterson—greeted them warmly. A few days later, the Communist Party USA‘s People’s Daily World sponsored a reception for 25 of the marchers.
On August 6, 1993, Maloney spoke at a rally to commemorate Hiroshima Day at the United Nations‘ Dag Hammarskjold Park. The event was intended “to kickoff a national campaign to collect a million signatures supporting a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, commend President [Bill] Clinton for extending the nuclear testing moratorium, urge renewal of the Non Proliferation Treaty, [and] urge swift and complete nuclear disarmament.” Other speakers included Leslie Cagan, David McReynolds of the War Resisters League, Jerrold Nadler, Major Owens, Charles Rangel, and Alyn Ware of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy. For a list of additional speakers, click here.
A noteworthy constituent of Maloney’s congressional district in the 1990s was Lori Berenson, a member of the Marxist-Leninist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement in Peru. In 1996, Peruvian authorities convicted and imprisoned Berenson under their government’s strict anti-terrorism laws. Maloney subsequently interceded on Berenson’s behalf, traveling to Peru in 1997 to meet with her in prison, and thereafter making numerous public calls for her release. Berenson was eventually paroled in 2010.
In 1997 Maloney co-sponsored Congressman Matthew Martinez’s Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act, which proposed to use $250 billion in federal funds for the establishment of union-wage jobs rebuilding infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, and parks). Martinez had previously introduced this bill in 1995 at the the request of the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, whose leaders were all supporters or members of the Communist Party USA.
In 2007, Maloney was one of 90 Members of Congress who signed an open letter to President George W. Bush, stating: “We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.” The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition, an alliance led by such notables as Medea Benjamin, Bill Fletcher, Kevin Zeese, and representatives of the Progressive Democrats of America, Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet.org, Velvet Revolution, and the Backbone Campaign.
During her 2012 congressional campaign, Maloney was a vocal exponent of the claim that vaccines cause autism in children; she compared vaccines to cigarettes and argued that it was “common sense” that they are “bad for your health.”
Favoring “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation that would “offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship,” Maloney has co-sponsored many bills designed to help pave such a path. She is also a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act, intended to normalize the status of illegal immigrants who first came to the U.S. as minors and are still younger than 35.
Maloney also backed the Obama Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, initiated in June 2012 to guarantee that most DREAM Act-eligible individuals would be granted legal status and work permits for two years. Said the congresswoman in September 2017: “Before DACA, these young people had lived in the shadows of our communities. Since DACA began, these good-hearted Americans have come forward in hopes of being granted fully legal status and the chance to continue making positive contributions to their communities and our country without fear of deportation. DACA participants bring real economic benefits to our states and nation.”
Maloney likewise supported Obama’s November 2014 executive action known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which protected millions of illegal aliens not covered by the aforementioned DACA edict, from deportation. “This executive action will help keep families together,” Maloney said of DAPA. “It will boost our economy and generate new tax revenue. It will help end the daily fear, distress and heartbreak that is unnecessarily inflicted on millions of undocumented immigrants.”
One of Maloney’s passions has been the “normalization” of U.S. relations with Cuba. In 2013, she was one of 59 House Members who signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to “support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.” (Emphasis in original)
On January 21, 2021, Maloney, in her position as chair of the House Oversight Committee, called for an FBI investigation into the alleged involvement of Parler — a free-speech social media platform that operated as a competitor to Twitter and Facebook — in fomenting a January 6 incident where several hundred Trump supporters had temporarily occupied the Capitol building in Washington to protest what they viewed as a stolen presidential election. (Note: Both Apple and Google, in the immediate aftermath of the January 6 incident, had dropped Parler from their respective app stores, and Amazon had cut Parler off from its cloud hosting service, Amazon Web Services, thereby forcing Parler offline completely. Prior to its sudden banishment from the Internet, Parler had been growing at an astounding rate and was #1 in Apple’s app store — a growth spurt that had been ignited by Twitter’s and Facebook’s recent decisions to ban President Trump from their respective sites.) In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Maloney asked the Bureau to “conduct a robust examination of the role that the social media site Parler played” in organizing and facilitating the events at the Capitol. The congresswoman added that her committee would open its own investigation of Parler as well, and she requested a meeting with FBI officials regarding the direction that such a probe should take. Also in her letter, Maloney cited several instances in which Parler users had been arrested for “threatening violence against elected officials” and organizing protests on the platform. And in a January 22 interview with The Washington Post, Maloney vowed: “I am going to get to the bottom of who owns and funds social media platforms like Parler that condone and create violence.”
Maloney’s allegations about Parler’s involvement in planning and organizing the January 6, 2021 incident at the Capitol were entirely false, however. As leftwing journalist and former civil rights lawyer Glenn Greenwald noted on January 12: “Of the first 13 people arrested by the FBI in connection with the event at the Capitol, a total of zero were active users of Parler. The overwhelming amount of planning for that event, the overwhelming amount of advocacy for people to go there and to breach the Capitol was done on Facebook, and on YouTube, and on Twitter.” Greenwald further observed that Google “kicked Parler off of its app at the exactly the time that Parler had gone to number one.”
In mid-May 2021, Maloney was one of 35 House Democrats (led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) who wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tae Johnson, demanding changes to immigration policies allegedly rooted in America’s “discriminatory legal system.” According to the 35 legislators, an interim enforcement memo issued by ICE: (a) did “not adequately protect the liberty interests of asylum seekers,” and (b) unjustifiably presumed that illegal migrants who had been convicted of aggravated felonies should necessarily be regarded as “border security and enforcement and removal priorit[ies].” “This blanket presumption will effectively mean detaining an untold number of people who have fled persecution,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letter further claimed that the “definition of an aggravated felony” was nothing more than a “relic of the racist War on Drugs.” “‘Aggravated felonies’ as a category have been designed to ensure that people have as few rights as possible to fight detention and deportation,” wrote Maloney and her colleagues. “Moreover, we are concerned that the memorandum only requires ICE officers have a ‘good faith belief’ that someone has an aggravated felony conviction even while acknowledging that such a determination is ‘a complex question.’” The lawmakers also claimed that the ICE memo “invites racial profiling” by designating migrants convicted of participating in gang activities as “public safety enforcement and removal priorit[ies].” “We are in a moment of racial reckoning in this country, with communities across the country calling for an end to mass incarceration and racist policing,” the letter said. “It is time to end the carceral approach to immigration, which relies on these same flawed systems.”
On July 19, 2022, Maloney was one of at least 17 House Democrats who were arrested outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, where they were attending an abortion-rights rally to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those arrested included the following:
For information on Maloney’s voting record on a wide range of key issues, click here.
As matters of principle, Maloney believes that:
Maloney is a member of Americans for Democratic Action, Common Cause, the National Organization for Women, and the Sierra Club of New York City. Her political campaigns have been supported and/or endorsed by the Council for a Livable World, EMILY’s List, the Working Families Party, Gloria Steinem, and economist Joseph Stiglitz (an affiliate of the Socialist International).