Jan. 26 is officially “Secretary Janet Yellen Celebration Day” in Brooklyn, after Borough President Eric Adams signed a proclamation in honor of the nation’s first female head of the US Treasury Department.
Born in Bay Ridge in 1946, Yellen was officially sworn in as Treasury Secretary in Joe Biden’s presidential administration on Tuesday, saying she would lead the agency to “right past wrongs and improve people’s lives.”
“Economics isn’t just something you find in a textbook. It can be a potent tool to right past wrongs and improve people’s lives. That’s why so many of Treasury’s 84,000 public servants joined the Department,” she wrote on Twitter. “Today, I am proud to be one of them.”
Adams, who has the power to dedicate ceremonial proclamations from his perch at Borough Hall, called the move a “small gesture of our appreciation for one of Bay Ridge’s finest.”
“It is most fitting that we recognize those extraordinary individuals who have provided distinguished services through their demonstrated commitment as principal advisors to the President of the United States and the Cabinet on economic issues,” the decree reads. “All of Brooklyn joins with Janet Yellen… the first woman to hold this position upon this momentous occasion, and to highlight the outstanding contributions she has made that have greatly impacted the nation and the residents of this great borough and beyond.”
The child of an elementary school teacher and a physician, Yellen graduated as the valedictorian of Fort Hamilton High School in 1962. With an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Yale, the economics guru went on to chair the Federal Reserve under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, before Biden selected her to lead the Treasury Department.
The US Senate confirmed her nomination to the head of the department by an 84-to-15 margin on Jan. 25, leading newly-minted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to praise her “working-class” roots in Kings County.
“I am so proud that the Senate will confirm Dr. Janet Yellen to be the first woman to ever hold the position of Treasury Secretary,” Schumer tweeted. “She’s a native of working-class Brooklyn, and no one has more experience for this job.”
Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, a candidate to replace the term-limited Beep, took excitedly to social media to hail her fellow Brooklynite’s success.
“Brooklyn is in the house!” she wrote. “Congratulations to Brooklyn’s own, the first woman Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen!”