Quick bio: Tonya is the Deputy Chief for Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for the New York City Law Department. She spends her days advocating for the city and filing lawsuits to protect its most vulnerable residents.
Beyond the Bio: “Up until age 45 I loved boasting that I make no concessions to age. Turning 50 changed all that. My body demanded compromises, like trading kickboxing for yoga and bootcamp classes for the gentler joys of African dance, power walking and Pilates. But the best part of turning 50 is no longer giving a damn about what my life is supposed to look like. I’ve always aspired to the single girl lives of Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda Morgenstern and Wilona Woods, sprinkled with the fierceness of Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson, and that’s the life I’ve created. I have been alternately kissed and burned by the sun and I wake up every day happy to be here.”
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Dancing! I dance with my dog, dance while I’m cooking and, if the song moves me, I stop and dance while jogging.
3. Jam of the minute: I’m loving “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas & Billy Ray Cyrus and cooking to the Blues, especially Koko Taylor and Alberta Hunter.
4. Thing I miss: The passion of youth, having a flat stomach and wearing a size 8.
5. 80s crush: LL Cool J
6. Current crush: LeBron James
7. Will whine about: Suddenly feeling like I just swallowed a furnace.
8. Will wine about: May Georges Cremant de Loire.
9. Best thing that happened recently: Acceptance to Coro’s New York Leadership Program.
10. Looking forward to: Celebrating my 53rd birthday with my family because I haven’t celebrated my birthday with my family since I turned 12.