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Monday, August 15, 2022

Fernando Cabrera may be Adams’ pick to run rebranded ThriveNYC

Mayor Eric Adams is considering a controversial former Bronx councilman to run the rebranded $1.5 billion mental health initiative that critics say former Mayor Bill de Blasio used to promote his wife Chirlane McCray, The Post has learned.

Fernando Cabrera, whose 11-year City Council tenure ended on Dec. 31, is the new mayor’s preferred pick to run the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health — the agency formerly known as ThriveNYC, according to a source familiar with the decision.

Cabrera, who serves as the pastor of New Life Outreach International Church, has taken heat from LGBTQ advocates for a 2014 YouTube video in which he praised the notoriously homophobic government of Uganda.

The 57-year-old pol told The Post in 2019 that he personally opposed abortion and gay marriage, but respected the law of the land. He took that position a step further in an op-ed in the Bronx Chronicle last year during his failed bid for Bronx borough president.

Cabrera had previously stated his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
Councilman Fernando Carbrera/Fac

“I resoundingly support and respect the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage and respect the right of any New Yorker to marry whomever they love and choose to start a partnership with,” Cabrera wrote. “This issue is settled law of the land. Period.”

Cabrera is also the former graduate program director for the mental health and counseling program at Mercy College.

De Blasio launched ThriveNYC in 2015 and put it under the control of his wife, despite her having no professional experience in mental healthcare or social services.

Mayor de Blasio and his face at a press event.
The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health is a rebranded version of the controversial ThriveNYC, launched by former Mayor de Blasio and headed by his wife.
SplashNews.com

The program faced scrutiny for its high costs and lack of performance metrics or evidence that it had helped seriously mentally ill New Yorkers. Last year, the de Blasios rebranded the initiative as the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health.

Allen Roskoff, head of the Jim Owles LGBT Liberal Democratic Club said Cabrera’s record makes him ill-suited to head any city agency.

“Fernando Cabrera is a homophobe and a bigot and has no place in government,” Roskoff said. “This is the most egregious appointment I can think of a politician making. It’s outrageous.”

 a man reads the headline of the Ugandan newspaper "Rolling Stone" in Kampala, Uganda,
Cabrera came under fire in 2014 for a 2014 YouTube video in which he praised the notoriously homophobic government of Uganda.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cabrera’s potential City Hall role was first reported by Politico New York. He did not return multiple requests for comment.

A City Hall spokesman initially said the administration does not comment on pending appointments. However, after outrage from the LGBT community a City Hall spokesman denied that Cabrera was being eyed for the spot.

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