New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) today announced his intention to run for the city’s public advocate seat after opening a campaign committee with the Board of Elections in anticipation of the race.
Williams threw his hat in the ring in anticipation of current Public Advocate Letitia James winning the state Attorney General seat on Nov. 6. Should James win, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to call for an election to fill the vacancy early next year.
“I have always felt that my job as an activist elected official has been to make sure the voices of all New Yorkers are lifted up, and to create the kinds of changes that have a tangible positive impact on their lives,” said Williams, a progressive Democrat. “New York City needs to live up to its promise as a progressive beacon, and government needs not just to legislate but to listen. Too many working class New Yorkers are struggling, and this city belongs to them- not just to the rich or real estate lobby. This is our New York and it’s time to take it back. As public advocate, I will fight make this city affordable, equitable and just for the many, not the few.”
The office of public advocate serves as a direct link between the electorate and their elected officials by acting as a watchdog for all New Yorkers. The public advocate acts as an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens’ complaints about city services and making proposals to address any shortcomings or failures of those services. It is also the first in line to succeed the Mayor.
The announcement comes after Williams received nearly 650,000 votes to become lieutenant governor of New York last month, with more than 400,000 votes from individuals throughout the five boroughs.
His candidacy was endorsed by The New York Times, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Working Families Party and countless elected officials, unions and progressive advocacy groups across the state.