Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Elections

Elections

  • The Aftermath of the Public Advocate Race

    ccm j williams prelim

    Melissa Mark-Viverito & Jumaane Williams (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The public advocate special election has come and gone. The implications of the results will be felt for years to come. Yet there is a debate over whether the position of public advocate should even exist. But it is here and the last two to hold the position—Bill de Blasio and Letitia James—have moved on to higher office.

    The Candidates
    Jumaane Williams, the winner of the race with 33% of the vote in a very crowded field and now the third

    ...
  • 'We're in a New Era’: Inside the Crowded Race to Elect the Next Queens District Attorney and Reset the Borough’s Prosecutorial Agenda

    dwamhvfwoaejtul

    Queens Borough President Katz swears-in community board members (photo: @QueensBPKatz)


    Uncontested for seven terms spanning more than a quarter-century, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has hung back while his counterparts in Brooklyn and Manhattan join a growing national conversation about criminal justice reform and the power of prosecutors to decarcerate jails. While the retiring Brown is a “dear friend,” former New York Appeals

    ...
  • Public Advocate-Elect Jumaane Williams' Promises and Positions

    cm jw pa

    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor last year, won in convincing fashion the Tuesday special election for public advocate of New York City.

    Over the course of his campaign, Williams, a former tenant organizer, made several promises and pitched policies that he said would transform the office of public advocate, which has limited statutory authority or budget but provides a platform for outspoken advocacy.

    “This job is not to

    ...
  • Jumaane Williams Elected New York City Public Advocate

    Jumaane Williams election

    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Jumaane Williams, the outspoken New York City Council member from Brooklyn who touts himself as an “activist elected official,” won the special election for public advocate on Tuesday, emerging victorious by a wider margin than most expected in a field with 17 candidates on the ballot. Only about a half-hour after polls closed at 9 p.m., NY1 television called the race for Williams, who had more than 30% of the vote with more than 50% of election precincts reporting. As of about

    ...
  • Unsuccessful in Public Advocate Bid, Mark-Viverito Faces Uncertain Political Future

     New York City Council

    Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    Former Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito lost her bid for public advocate in the special election held Tuesday, as Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams came out on top of a crowded field of candidates to claim victory by an unexpectedly wide margin. Mark-Viverito came in third behind WIlliams and City Council Member Eric Ulrich, the lone Republican elected official in the field of 17 candidates. It was the first-ever nonpartisan citywide special election in

    ...
  • How to Choose a Candidate in the Public Advocate Special Election

    voting new york city

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    For weeks, intensifying ahead of Tuesday, friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues have been asking for advice about who to vote for in the special election for Public Advocate. My response usually starts with a question: What do you most want in a Public Advocate?

    Sometimes that’s followed by another: How much time do you have? There are 17 candidates who will be on Tuesday’s ballot, each with certain qualities, qualifications, and visions for the office. The Public Advocate has wide

    ...
  • Remembering the Value of the Public Advocate as We Choose the Next One

    Tish James Public Advocate election

    Tish James' inauguration (photo: Mayor's Office)


    On Tuesday, Feb. 26, New York City voters will head to the polls to elect the next Public Advocate, a position vacated in January when the previous officeholder, Letitia James, was sworn in as State Attorney General.

    New York is the only city in the country that has an elected city-wide Public Advocate, a unique position charged with helping individual residents and addressing broader city service problems. We’re better off for it.  

    Unfortunately, 30

    ...
  • Last-Minute Guide: How the Public Advocate Candidates Have Tried to Define Themselves

    public advocate new york city

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City’s special election for Public Advocate will take place this Tuesday, February 26, and there will be 17 candidates on the ballot, although one has suspended her campaign. Ten of these candidates qualified for the first official televised debate, then seven of those ten qualified for the second debate. Those candidates and others in the race have also been appearing at many local forums, making the rounds on television and radio, and taking part in other aspects of campaigning as

    ...
  • WATCH: 15 Minutes with Each of 14 Public Advocate Candidates

    voting public advocate

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    At the Manhattan Neighborhood News studio, I sat down individually with 14 of the 17 candidates who will be on the ballot for the February 26 (Tuesday!) special election for New York City Public Advocate, which is open to all registered voters across New York City. Each interview lasted about 15 minutes and touched on the candidate's resume, vision for the office, and key issues facing the city. Find them all below.

    (The three candidates not interviewed either had too many

    ...
  • In Second Debate, Public Advocate Candidates Argue Over Amazon, Insult De Blasio & Make Closing Cases

    poolnytdebate 002

    Candidates at debate #1 (photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool))


    While there were disagreements over the Amazon deal that fell apart and contentious exchanges over their records, the seven candidates for public advocate who debated Wednesday night agreed on a lot, including that Mayor Bill de Blasio should not run for president and instead focus on major challenges in New York City.

    With less than a week until the Tuesday, February 26 special election vote, seven of the 17 candidates who will be on the ballot took the stage at Borough of

    ...
  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams

    mxm logo

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


    February 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams

    jum will wbai277City Council Member Jumaane Williams joined the show to discuss his candidacy for Public Advocate just days before the February 26 special election.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're

    ...
  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Ydanis Rodriguez

    mxm logo

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


    February 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Ydanis Rodriguez

    ydanis rod wbai277City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez joined the show to discuss his candidacy for Public Advocate just days beofre the February 26 vote.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on

    ...
  • 4 Things to Watch at the Second Public Advocate Debate

    Williams Blake debate

    Williams, left, and Blake at the first debate (photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool))


    Seven candidates for New York City Public Advocate will be on stage Wednesday night for the second of two official televised debates ahead of the February 26 special election. While there will be 17 names on the ballot next week and 10 candidates qualified for the first debate, held February 6, the second debate will feature a slightly more manageable group.

    With the clock ticking down to the vote, which is open to all registered

    ...
  • 7 Candidates Qualify for Second Public Advocate Special Election Debate

    Public Advocate debate 10 candidates

    The first debate (photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool))


    Seven candidates running in the special election for New York City Public Advocate have qualified for the second and final official televised debate, which will take place Wednesday night, just six days ahead of the February 26 election.

    There will be 17 candidates on the ballot, 10 of whom qualified for the first televised debate. Now, for the “leading contenders” debate, seven candidates met the threshold set by city law, which includes raising

    ...
  • My Vision for the Role of Public Advocate: David Eisenbach

    david eisenbach 5a web

    (photo: Eisenbach for Public Advocate Campaign)


    Right now, as communities across the city are organizing against displacement, we need a New York City Public Advocate who unifies and advocates for them in the struggle to save their homes and small businesses. I am not a politician who serves real estate developers and makes deals with corporations like Amazon that displace hard-working New Yorkers. I teach American history at Columbia University and running for Public Advocate on the platform to Fight Big Real Estate and Save Our Small Businesses.

    I will

    ...
  • How Many Voters Will Turn Out for the Public Advocate Special Election?

    de blasio voting

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Around 200,000 to 700,000 voters are expected to show up to the polls for February 26 special election for New York City Public Advocate, according to political experts and candidates for the office. Though the election is certain to be a low turnout affair, just how low remains unclear, with turnout dependent upon how well the candidates are able to broadcast their messages and push people to the polls, how active labor unions and political clubs are, and other factors, including the weather on election

    ...
  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito

    mxm logo

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


    February 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito

    mmv wbaiMelissa Mark-Viverito is a former Speaker of the New York City Council and now a candidate for Public Advocate in the special election set for February 26. She joined the show to discuss her candidacy.

    Listen to the

    ...
  • In First Debate, Public Advocate Candidates Take on De Blasio, Amazon & Each Other

    Public Advocate debate Feb 6 2019

    photo: Holly Pickett for The New York Times (pool)

    (l-r) Danny O'Donnell, Jumaane Williams Michael Blake, Rafael Espinal, Erich Ulrich, Ron Kim, Ydanis Rodriguez, Dawn Smalls, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Nomiki Konst


    With 10 candidates on stage and less than three weeks until election day, there were some sharp elbows at the first of two televised debates Wednesday night in the race to be the city’s next Public Advocate. The citywide special election is February 26.

    The candidates, including eight current or former

    ...
  • Making the Queens District Attorney a Partner in Justice for Workers

    melinakatzqbp

    Melinda Katz, the author, center (photo: @queensbpkatz)


    New York City and our nation as a whole are at an important moment in history. As Republicans in Washington threaten rights and pass bigoted legislation, local leaders need to take a stand and fight back on a broad range of issues, because the reforms and legal protections we need will not come for those who wait, they will come from those who demand them.

    As I run to be the next Queens District Attorney, I am releasing the first of a series of policy papers discussing pressing issues facing our borough.

    ...
  • 8 Things to Watch in the First Public Advocate Debate

    public advocate candidates


    The biggest moment so far in the short, crowded, and contentious race to become the next New York City Public Advocate will be Wednesday night, as 10 qualifying candidates take the stage for the first of two televised debates.

    The citywide special election has attracted a wide and deep field of candidates -- there will be 17 names on the February 26 ballot -- including several sitting elected officials, each hoping to become the city’s watchdog and ombudsperson, one of just three citywide elected officials and next in line to the mayor. The

    ...
  • My Vision for the Role of Public Advocate: Rafael Espinal

    raf espinal op

    Rafael Espinal, the author (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them,” wrote the great novelist James Baldwin, a true son of New York City. It’s the same with many New York politicians who cling to the same old ideas that have not fixed our city in the past and won’t work today either. The problems our city faces in 2019 are the same problems we faced in 2009 and 1999, only they’ve gotten worse.

    Unaffordable apartments. Crumbling public housing. A subway system that

    ...
  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Ben Yee

    mxm logo

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


    January 30, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Ben Yee

    byee 150pxBen Yee is an entrepreneur and activist who has been involved with Democratic politics and government on several levels. Now a candidate for New York City Public Advocate in the special eleciton set for February 26, Yee joined the show to discuss

    ...
  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jared Rich

    mxm logo

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


    January 30, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Public Advocate Candidate Jared Rich

    jrich 150pxJared Rich is an attorney from Brooklyn and first-time candidate for office, running in the special election to become the next New York City Public Advocate, which is set for February 26. Rich joined the show to discuss his background and

    ...
  • Public Advocate Special Election Ballot Finalized with 17 Candidates

    mbdbvotesps

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The February 26 special election for public advocate will see 17 candidates on the ballot after the New York City Board of Elections held a final hearing on ballot petition challenges and appeals on Tuesday. Nearly two dozen candidates had sought to get their names on the ballot but several were eliminated for either failing to collect enough petition signatures from voters or for other technical snafus that invalidated their petitions.

    But of the 17 candidates that will be on the ballot, not everyone is still

    ...
  • 10 Candidates Qualify for First TV Debate in Public Advocate Special Election

    12 pub advjan

    (l-r) Melissa Mark-viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez, Dawn Smalls, Jumaane Williams Rafael Espinal; Danny O'Donnell, Michael Blake, Erich Ulrich, Nomiki Konst, Ron Kim


    Update: This article and its headline have been updated to clarify that 10, not 11, candidates officially qualified for the first televised debate of the race. The original version of this article included Assemblymember Latrice Walker, who appeared to have crossed the financial threshold but was ruled not to have by the Campaign Finance Board after its review of her filings.

    It’s

    ...