Legal Momentum President Elizabeth Grayer's Letter To The New York Times

Legal Momentum President Elizabeth Grayer's Letter To The New York Times

May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012 -

To the Editor:

Re “Fire Dept. Doubles Minority and Female Applicants” (, May 9):

The headline does not tell the full story. The firefighter exam is given only every few years. Women were less than 5 percent of the more than 42,000 who took the most recent test. This is not acceptable.

Substantially less than 1 percent of the firefighters in the New York Fire Department are women. New York City’s numbers are shockingly low. Where programs are in place to encourage and recruit female applicants, the numbers of female firefighters are far higher: 17 percent in Minneapolis, 15 percent in San Francisco, 14 percent in Boulder, Colo., and 24 percent in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

While it is commendable that almost half of those who took the most recent New York City test were nonwhite, much more needs to be done to recruit women to the N.Y.F.D.

New York, May 9, 2012

About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law. For more information visit

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