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Letitia James

Letitia James

  • 2017 New York City Primary Election Results

    nyc votes i voted sticker

    NYC Votes sticker, design by Marie Dagata and Scott Heinz


    Mayor Bill de Blasio prevailed convincingly in the Democratic primary Tuesday as he seeks a second term. De Blasio was facing four challengers, most prominently former City Council Member Sal Albanese. With 98% of precincts reporting, de Blasio had secured 74.4% of the vote, to Albanese’s 15.4%, and Michael Tolkin’s 4.7%, Robert Gangi’s 3.1%, and Richard Bashner’s 2.4%. De Blasio had about 317,000 votes; Albanese with about 65,450 in a very low turnout election, where about 15% of

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  • Voters Guide for the 2017 City Primary Election

    de Blasio voting election

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


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    by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
         

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate David Eisenbach

    Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    August 28, 2017 - Democratic Public Advocate Candidate David Eisenbach

    public adv candidate david eisenbach277pxDavid Eisenbach is a history professor at Columbia University seeking to unseat incumbent Public Advocate Letitia James in this year's Demcratic primary. Eisenbach, who has raised minimal funds for his campaign, believes that James

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  • 10 Great NYC Debate Moments

    quinn liu de blasio albanese

    Quinn, Liu, de Blasio, Albanese (from 2013)


    Debates have been an invaluable part of political discourse and elections for centuries. The face-to-face interactions between candidates reveal a lot about their character, policies, and ability to perform under pressure.

    Debates for citywide races in New York -- for Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate -- have played no small part in helping New Yorkers decide which candidates best represent their interests. Ahead of the 2017 debates, which begin Wednesday with the first Democratic mayoral

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  • Republican Citywide Candidates Hopeful Despite Slow Fundraising

    Faulkner

    GOP Comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner


    Ahead of the citywide elections, Republican candidates for Comptroller and Public Advocate -- Michel Faulkner and J.C. Polanco, respectively -- have struggled to raise funds for their campaigns, trailing their respective opponents by large sums.

    With just over three months before Election Day, both Faulkner and Polanco need to significantly increase their fundraising prowess to run competitive races against Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, both Democrats.

    Faulkner, a former New York Jet and

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  • Planning to Lure Democrats, Polanco Jumps Into Public Advocate Race

    jc polanco ny1

    JC Polanco (screenshot via NY1)


     After receiving endorsements from several Republican clubs and organizations, J.C. Polanco, a Bronx native who is currently the New York City Regional Director for Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, officially jumped into the race for Public Advocate last week.

    “I had to travel the city and try to get enough support from my party to get the nomination,” Polanco said in an interview with Gotham Gazette. “Now I’m going to start moving from meeting party leaders, county leaders to talk with groups across the

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  • Julissa's Choice and Our Responsibility

     tish and julissa

    Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, left, & Tish James, the author, center-left


    New York City’s political scene is reeling from the shocking news that one of its brightest stars is calling it quits. City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland announced that she won’t run for re-election so she can spend more time to with her family, which includes her young son.

    As the city’s Public Advocate, I’ve worked closely with Julissa as she’s fought with unrelenting passion for the communities she represents. I’ve also watched her closely as she’s balanced the

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  • Federal Government Halts City’s Plan to Establish Private Sector Retirement Savings Program

    de Blasio retirement savings

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor’s Office)


    Through a recently-signed resolution, President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have struck a death blow to New York City’s plan to become the first city in the country to establish a retirement savings program for private-sector employees.

    After advocates and elected officials identified a crisis in the limited amount most workers have saved for retirement and started calling for government action, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his February 2016 State of the

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  • De Blasio’s ‘Fearless’ Moment

    de Blasio fearless girl statue

    De Blasio & "Fearless Girl" (photos: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio walked swiftly down Broadway Monday afternoon with a big smile on his face. The mayor approached the entrance to a barricaded area in which he was about to address gathered members of the media and was stopped for a photo by a group of Girl Scouts. He gladly obliged, then proceeded, approaching the Wall Street Bull, but stopping a few yards short at his destination, the “Fearless Girl” statue.

    De Blasio knelt beside the small statue

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  • To Secure Our Children’s Foundation, Honor Foundation Aid for Schools

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    Public Advocate Letitia James, the author, with two children (photo: @TishJames)


    With so much uncertainty in our country, there’s never been a more critical time to invest in our future and safeguard opportunities for our children. That’s why we must ensure that education funding is protected and our schools have the resources to prepare students for college and the job market.

    Our children cannot perform at their best in overcrowded classrooms with outdated technology and slow internet access -- or, for that matter, with an obsession with

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  • Citywide Electeds Make Social Media Moves Ahead of Election Year

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    Mayor de Blasio at Facebook (photo via Mayor's Office)


    If there’s an undeniable takeaway from the 2016 presidential election, it’s that social media can play a crucial role in how candidates for public office communicate. Nationally and locally, political candidates and elected officials have for years recognized the role that platforms like Twitter and Facebook can play in public engagement and influencing traditional media.

    For New York City’s three citywide elected officials -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and

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  • City Council Women's Caucus Rallies for Equity Legislation

    womens equality rally pic via cumbo

    Equality rally at City Hall (photo via Council Member Cumbo)


    The Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council announced a legislative package Tuesday aimed at equal rights and opportunities for women. With an “equality rally” outside City Hall before the full Council held a meeting at which some of the bills were introduced, legislators, advocates, and service providers expressed support for the legislation and argued for its necessity in light of Donald Trump’s election as President.

    The co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus, Council

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  • James Wins Battle in Long War Over Public Advocate's Legal Standing

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    Public Advocate Letitia James (photo via @TishJames)


    The Public Advocate’s office was created in 1993 to give a voice to everyday New Yorkers and act as checks on the authority of the Mayor and the function of city agencies. Letitia James, the fourth New York City Public Advocate, has made litigation a major tool in her attempt to fulfill the office’s mandates. James, who has a background as an attorney and has hired several lawyers to her staff since taking office in 2014, has fought the city and its agencies in the

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  • Justice Department Decision Boosts Push for Private Prison Divestment

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    A recent decision by the federal Department of Justice to scale back and eventually end the use of private prisons indirectly impacted New York City’s pension funds, reducing holding values by millions of dollars and leading to renewed calls from activists for the city to divest from the for-profit corporations that operate these prisons.

    Earlier this month, the Obama administration took a major step against an industry that has long been criticized for its culture of violence, secrecy, and the devaluation of human life: private

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  • To Prevent Zika Threats, Reproductive Health Care is Necessary

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    City's health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, discusses Zika (photo: @nychealthy)


    As the Zika virus continues to make headlines around the world, it is crucial that our city, state and federal governments do all that they can to prevent the spread of Zika. This is especially important in New York City, home to approximately 25% of the cases in the United States.   

    Our elected officials are doing just that. The Mayor’s Office has unveiled ...

  • Calls Grow for New Council-Led Deed Restriction Process

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    Chin, Mark-Viverito, Brewer (l-r) at Wednesday's presser (photo: William Alatriste)


    Armed with the findings of a newly-released investigation that faults City Hall for a “lack of accountability,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Margaret Chin called for reform to the city’s deed restriction removal process at a press conference on Wednesday outside City Hall.

    In a show of strength and seriousness, Brewer and Chin were joined by Public Advocate Letitia James,

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  • Proposals Target Closure of Gender Pay Gap

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    photo: @PowherNY


    During a recent panel conversation at The New School, only two people in a crowd of about 50 raised their hands when the audience was asked if they were confident there is no gender pay gap in their workplace. The panel, called “Getting Even,” was organized by the Center for New York City Affairs to discuss the causes of the pay gap between men and women and the steps New York City can take to close it.

    “When men go into traditionally female occupations, they get paid more. So gender is the only differentiator

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  • Legislation Aimed at Holding City Accountable for Rezoning Commitments

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    Announcement at City Hall (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    With the recent passage of the East New York rezoning and community development plan, the city committed to revitalizing the neglected Brooklyn neighborhood by creating affordable housing, investing in community infrastructure, and promoting economic development. The first among 15 neighborhood rezonings planned by Mayor Bill de Blasio, East New York ushers in a new era of planned change and city promises.

    As these rezoning and

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  • James Takes Softer Stance on Atlantic Yards

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    James (at podium) & Cumbo (in green) at Barclays Center (photo: Azi Paybarah)


    When Public Advocate Letitia (Tish) James served as City Council Member for the 35th District in Brooklyn, from 2003 through 2013, she was a vocal, high-profile opponent of the Atlantic Yards megaproject, as reflected in the 2011 documentary Battle for Brooklyn.

    James was a plaintiff in ...

  • Rethinking ‘Women’s Issues’ in Public Policy

    rosenthal cumbo

    Council Members Rosenthal (front) and Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    Access to reproductive health care is generally viewed as a “women’s issue,” a label that some say excludes men and more specific impacted groups from a variety of important conversations, and can make it more difficult for so-labeled issues to get the attention they deserve from public policy-makers. While closing the wage gap, securing paid family leave, combatting sexual assault and domestic violence, and protecting and improving access to reproductive health care impact everyone, not just

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  • Private Sector Retirement Security Plans Become Next Progressive Cause

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    De Blasio delivers his State of the City (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office) 


    Experts warn that the entire country could be headed for a financial crisis caused by the fact that an aging workforce has not been saving for retirement.

    Whether due to cutbacks of public pensions, the lack of retirement plans offered by private employers, or workers forced to raid their savings, it appears to a growing number of advocates and politicians that many Americans will be forced to keep

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  • Little-Known Commission Expands Access to City Government

    tish james presser childcare

    Public Advocate James (photo via @TishJames)


    While government transparency can often be a vague concept, one concrete way to see what elected and appointed officials are doing is through live-streamed and archived video of public hearings.

    On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the little-known Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) met for the final time this year at John Jay College in Manhattan. The meeting agenda was centered around the commission getting an update on the implementation of ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 7

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


     ***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
    E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Assessing City Library Expansion After Budget Boost

    van bramer six day library service

    CM Van Bramer celebrates expanded library service (photo via @JimmyVanBramer) 


    This June, officials added $43 million in funding for New York City’s three public library systems to the fiscal year 2016 budget, allowing for expansion of branch operating hours and a return to six-day service for the first time in nearly a decade.

    At an oversight ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 26

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday,

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