Clinton took the stage before a packed audience at the historic theater, pledging to tackle income inequality, gun control, racial inequality, and the gender pay gap. She was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, with whom she served for eight years as a senator in New York before becoming Secretary of State.
You know, loose cannons tend to misfire, and in a dangerous world, that’s not a gamble we can afford.
She also remarked on Republican candidate Donald Trump's criticism that she plays "the woman card."
"If fighting for equal pay and paid family leave is playing the gender card, then deal me in!" she said.
Both Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are campaigning in New York ahead of the state's April 19 primary. Sanders is set to hold his own rally on Thursday at St. Mary's Park in the Bronx. Clinton is currently leading the Democratic race with 1,243 delegates pledged (more than half of the number she needs to earn the party's nomination), but Sanders is not far behind with 975 delegates.
It's unclear whether the two will face off in a debate before the primary. Clinton had previously faced criticism after her campaign strategist implied in an interview with CNN that she would not debate Sanders because of his "tone." Clinton has since said that she is open to the possibility of debating Sanders in Brooklyn.
"But this is a city that likes to get things done, and that’s what we want from our president, too. We need a president who will help break down all of the barriers holding back Americans, not just some. I take a backseat to no one in taking on income inequality," she added.
Clinton also took aim at her Republican rivals, namely Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, on national security and foreign policy.
I know how hard it is to break down the barriers, I know what it takes to get through the door and stay there. I have to respect her resilience, her commitment, and her experience.
"She has a strong foreign-policy record and it's very important right now in this unstable world," said Schoemberger, a student.
Schoemberger said the fact that Clinton is a woman wasn't the most important factor. But Pavanello said it was "very important."
"She would be the first Madam President in the U.S., so it's a big thing," Pavanello, an intern at the United Nations, said.
Vy Higginsen, a lifelong Harlem resident, author, playwright, producer, and radio host, echoed this sentiment.
"It's important to me as a woman. I'm a person that has had a lot of firsts… I know how hard it is to break down the barriers, I know what it takes to get through the door and stay there. I have to respect her resilience, her commitment, and her experience to deliver not just words but actions," Higginsen said.
Lilli Petersen contributed reporting from New York.