With 2016 just around the corner, Public Advocate Letitia James hosted a fundraiser, Tuesday evening, with help from the Young Professionals of the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA).
The event was filled with over a dozen notable female colleagues in government including State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblywomen Rodneyse Bichotte, Diana Richardson, Annette Robinson and Latrice Walker, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Civil Court Judge Cenceria Edwards.
The honorable Congresswoman Yvette Clarke noted the importance of getting behind women in government. “For so long we have all been somewhat barb-wired on electing men to office, it’s just a natural inclination that we have. We feel as though it’s a male dominated profession, that when the men step out they know all, but we a part in the conversation. Women bring a very unique ledge to the work that they do. In a civil society where women hold up half the sky, it is important particularly in the political arena, that their voices be a part of the policy development. We [women] know how to make a way out of no way,” said Clarke.
James said her agenda recognizes the baggage of the 21st century. This includes from the difficulties entrepreneurs had gaining contracting opportunities with the city, to hardships in hiring people of color. James has filed lawsuit after lawsuit to get justice in these and other areas. In the past 17 months, James has been presented with a variety of issues and has solved over a thousand cases.
Clarke pointed out the importance of James being the first citywide elected woman of color, and as such is a trailblazer.
“We need to make sure that whatever her campaign needs to keep her poignant, that we’re doing everything we can possibly do to help her,” Clarke added, before departing to catch her flight to Washington.
James also took the time to shine a light on the Labor and Public Affairs class that she teaches at Empire State College for the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies program. “She brings interest to young people to really get involved,” said her student Lakisha Keitt, 23.
When asked if she is considering any other office, James replied with a smile, “I love my position as Public Advocate and I’m looking forward to reelection.”