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Public Advocate

Public Advocate

  • Public Advocate Debate Shows Stark Differences Between James and Polanco

    Tish James JC Polanco public advocate debate via nyc votes

    James & Polanco at their debate (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat running for reelection, squared off against her Republican opponent, J.C. Polanco, in a friendly yet competitive debate on Monday that highlighted substantive differences, and some shared opinions, between the two candidates on a range of policy issues. Given the race features an incumbent, the debate centered in large part on James’ record as public advocate over the last four years, especially her

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate JC Polanco

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


    September 18, 2017 - Max & Murphy with Public Advocate Candidate JC Polanco

    jcpolanco 277JC Polanco, a Republican running for Public Advocate, joined Max & Murphy to discuss his candidacy, explaining a variety of policy proposals and his overall mission to reform the position itself to give it more power, funding, and teeth. Polanco is attempting to run a

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

    Tish James presser vets

    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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  • Independent Budgeting a Little-Used Practice for City Watchdog Agencies

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    Mayor de Blasio makes a budget presentation (photo via Mayor's Office)


    During the annual budget process, city agencies and entities are at the mercy of the Mayor and the City Council, who ultimately set the budget. But unlike many, the several agencies and officials who regularly monitor, regulate, or litigate against the mayoral administration are put in an awkward situation, annually appealing for funding in a dynamic that can hamper their ability to carry out charter-mandated duties and, in some cases, lead

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  • Private Sector Retirement Security Plans Become Next Progressive Cause

    de blasio state of the city

    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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  • 40 Stories, 40 Years: City Limits and the History of Today's New York City

    City Limits 1983 February

    History is always a summary. It weaves together disparate threads of individual experiences, and some threads color the pattern more than others. The conventional narrative of New York City after the 1970s fiscal crisis emphasizes what mayors, police commissioners, developers and other powerful people did.

    But that's not the story. It's just one.

    Since its founding 40 years ago this month, City Limits has told a different tale—one that has sometimes complemented, and

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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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  • Amid Federal Brinksmanship, New York City Officials Redouble Support for Planned Parenthood

    Chirlane PP

    NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at a Planned Parenthood rally (photo: @Chirlane) 


    In the face of federal debate and brinksmanship over funding for Planned Parenthood, many in New York City have doubled down on support for the women's health care organization.

    In the past month, the city has seen the...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Sept. 28-Oct. 2

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 2

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio does some road repaving on Staten Island, via the Mayor's Office; Gov. Cuomo checks out the beer at the Anheuser

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  • Is It Time For The Mayor To Do Town Halls?

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    Mayor de Blasio greets a constituent (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    Scott Stringer has led 16 town hall-style events since becoming Comptroller; Letitia James, the Public Advocate, hosted her 28th on Wednesday night in Brooklyn. As has been well-documented, Mayor Bill de Blasio - along with Stringer and James, one of three popularly-elected citywide officials - has not yet held a town hall event himself.

    Is it time for the mayor to host one?

    As de Blasio and his team wrestle with how to combat sagging public opinion poll numbers, what

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  • Suing the Hand That Feeds You

    Tish James rally via her office

    Public Advocate Letitia James


    Capitalizing on a boost to a historically anemic budget, Public Advocate Letitia James has emphasized the use of litigation in her capacity as the city’s elected gadfly, often suing the city that funds her.

     

    James is utilizing her office’s limited funds in accordance with her

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  • Inside the Campaign Finance Filings of NYC's 'Big Four'

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    The city's 'big four' (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Mid-way through 2015, the latest campaign finance filings are in and the raise and spend activity of New York City's top four elected officials can be analyzed through their principal campaign committees. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, all Democrats, maintain active committees

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  • Conference Keys to Restore Voter Confidence Start with Campaign Finance Reform

    CFB conf panelists

    Ann Ravel, Jared DeMarinis & Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, from left (photo: @NYCCFB)


    Ninety-six percent of Americans are concerned by the role of money in politics. Ninety-one percent think there's nothing they can do to change it.

    Federal Election Commission Chair Ann Ravel presented these statistics during her keynote address at a conference - "American Elections at the Crossroads: How do we restore

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  • School Meals in the Budget: Applause for Breakfast, Groans for Lunch

    Lunch 4 Learning

    Lunch 4 Learning at City Hall (photo: Zehra Rehman)


    Supporters of expanding free school meals in New York City are expressing mixed reactions to the city budget agreement announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Monday night.

    The fiscal year 2016 budget, at $78.5 billion of spending soon to be officially approved,

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  • 7 Points of Contention as City Budget Deal Finalized

    BdB MMV RI

    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Mark-Viverito talk (photo: William Alatriste)


    “This year we're fighting for much-needed funds that will get #NYC 6-day library service citywide, more police, better parks & much more,” tweeted City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer on Monday morning.

    Van Bramer, who chairs the Council’s cultural affairs committee, where the debate over library funding has largely been heard, reminded

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    ALBANY, ALBANY: Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie agreed on a short, retroactive extension of rent regulations through Tuesday. As negotiations continue on the rent regulations and other top of the agenda priority issues like mayoral control of city schools, legislators are due back in Albany on Tuesday. By

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, Governor Andrew Cuomo is heading to Cuba on a trade mission, leaving Monday and returning Tuesday evening - "the first Governor-led state trade mission to Cuba since President Obama began the process to normalize diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba," the governor is quick to point out. "In addition to the Governor and members of his administration, the delegation includes

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  • Public Advocate Files Brief to Expedite Garner Case Appeal

    tish james city hall

    Public Advocate James at a rally at City Hall (photo: @JaviLacayo)


    New York City Public Advocate Letitia James will file a brief today with the New York State Supreme Court seeking expedited appeal hearings against the denied petitions to release grand jury transcripts and evidence in the Eric Garner case.

    After a Staten Island grand jury decided in December not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July chokehold death of Eric Garner, a request for disclosure of the transcripts and evidence

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  • In Changing District, Cumbo Continues Culture Crusade

    cumbo alatriste

    Council Member Laurie Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    In one of Brooklyn's most rapidly changing districts, where brownstones sell for millions of dollars around the corner from deteriorating public housing complexes, Council Member Laurie Cumbo believes that arts and culture can be a unifying factor.

    "The whole purpose of humanity is to create culture and to advance culture. So it can't be separated from all of the other priorities," Cumbo said during an interview in her legislative office. "If you're not

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  • The City Council Definition of Women's Issues

    Cumbo

    Council Member Cumbo at a Women's History Month celebration (photo: Ben Max)


    On Monday, March 30, the New York City Council will host a Women's History Month celebration at City Hall. Council members will likely celebrate women heroes of city government, past and present, and acknowledge the history-making leadership of both Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina to hold the position, and Public Advocate Letitia James, a former council member who is the first woman

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  • After Making History, James Seeks Change

    tish james at rally

    Public Advocate James at a recent rally (photo: @PA_Outreach)


    During Women's History Month, the New York City YWCA holds weekly discussion and networking events, leading to a celebration honoring a "YW Woman of the Year." This year's theme is Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action and the honoree, to be recognized at the celebration Tuesday night in Manhttan, is Public Advocate Letitia James. According to a YWCA spokesperson, James is being honored for "her hard work towards gender and racial equity" and

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