Cynthia grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Yorkville, where she was raised by her single mother in a one bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment. She is a proud graduate of New York public schools and an even prouder public school parent. Her three children, Sam, Charlie and Max, are all New York City public school students or graduates.
Unlike the current leadership in Albany, Cynthia rides the New York subway nearly every day, and understands the toll that the mismanagement of the MTA is taking on everyday New Yorkers.
Cynthia began working as an actor when she was 12 years old to earn money to pay for her college education, and has been a proud union member ever since. She continued to act in a variety of film, stage, and TV roles to put herself through Barnard College at Columbia University, and went on to an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning career. Perhaps best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes on HBO’s hit series, “Sex and the City,” Cynthia received her Grammy for her role in the audio version of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the seminal book warning about the dangers of climate change.
For the last 17 years, Cynthia has been fighting for better schools and more equitable education funding all across the state, including as a spokesperson and organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education, which helped to reverse hundreds of million in education budget cuts. Cynthia has traveled the state, met with legislators, and spoken out in Albany on numerous occasions to demand that public schools in every district get the resources they need, regardless of income level. For her work promoting educational and racial justice in New York state, she was honored at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Triumph Awards.
A lifelong Democrat, Cynthia is a well-known, outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. In 2010, Cynthia helped create Fight Back New York, an effort to remove state Senators opposed to same-sex marriage. The campaign ultimately raised $800,000 and helped elect three new Senators in support of marriage equality. Cynthia worked with the Empire State Pride Agenda to fight for marriage equality in New York state, and traveled around the country to support similar efforts in Maryland, Washington, and New Jersey. In 2010, GLAAD honored Cynthia with the Vito Russo Award, given to an LGBT figure in the media “who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community”.
Cynthia has also pushed for women’s reproductive rights, including representing Planned Parenthood in Albany to advocate for the full Women’s Equality Agenda, including the right to choose. A breast cancer survivor, Cynthia has been a spokesperson educating women about the importance of early detection and being proactive about seeking treatment.
Cynthia is married to longtime education organizer Christine Marinoni, who until recently worked at the New York City Department of Education.
They are members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue, and live in Manhattan.