Cynthia grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she was raised by her single mother in a one bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment. She is a graduate of New York public schools and is a public school parent. Her three children, Sam, Charlie, and Max, are all New York City public school students or graduates. Cynthia began working as an actor when she was 12 and has been a proud union member ever since. She continued to act in a variety of film, stage, and TV roles graduated Barnard College and went on to an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning career. 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 is an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. In 2010, she helped create Fight Back NY, an effort to remove Senators opposed to same-sex marriage.