Women’s rights activist Martha Baker, a Fresh Meadows native, passed away over the weekend.
Baker, a lifelong advocate for women and girls, was a leading member of the New York Paid Family Leave Coalition. She was a founding board member of Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization named after Eleanor Roosevelt that helps elect Democratic women candidates into public office.
She was also the former CEO of the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), where she was appointed to the city’s Department of Education Steering committee to Restructure Career Technical Education. In 2007, Baker coordinated a conference focused on integrating women into the building and construction trades.
Prior to that, Baker worked as the deputy director of operations at the New York State Workers Compensation Board and served in the David Dinkins administration as executive director of the Commission on the Status of Women. She coordinated a yearlong study on sexual harassment and wrote about preventing harassment on college campuses and in the workplace.
In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Baker to the Board of Trustees of Queens Public Library.
She is a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Leadership Award.
“I am devastated by the passing of Martha Baker, a fearless trailblazer who helped elevate women of all ages in Queens and across the state through her fierce activism and politics,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “I am honored to have had her as a mentor both personally and professionally, and to have witnessed all that she accomplished, from advancing paid family leave to advocating for greater inclusion of women in technical career fields.”
“My heart goes out to the Baker family during this difficult time,” she added. “May they find comfort in knowing she has created a legacy of inspiration and perseverance that has and will continue to shape so many who aspire to become leaders in their own communities.”