Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Jumaane D. Williams

Jumaane D. Williams

  • 1 billions push

    The Financial Control Board meets (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has until the end of September to present a state fiscal oversight body with a plan to find $1 billion in savings that will help balance the city budget for the current fiscal year. In lieu of a federal aid package to help replace lost tax revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor and labor union leaders are pushing the Legislature and Governor Cuomo to allow the city to borrow billions of dollars to cover operating expenses, a proposal that many city and state

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  • ceremonial dermot

    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Commissioner Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As New York City continues to see an increase in gun violence, concentrated largely in Brooklyn and the Bronx, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his police department have gone with a familiar playbook of shifting resources to hot spots, holding gun buy-backs, and coordinating with community groups that seek to prevent shootings in vulnerable neighborhoods. But as shootings and murders have jumped by especially large numbers amid the pandemic, its resulting mass unemployment, and a

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  • 237 jumaane 600

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    July 22, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Jumaane Williams on Gun Violence & Police Reform

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined the show to discuss his recommendations for reducing gun violence in the city, the next steps on police reform, whether the mayor should replace his police commissioner, and more.

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

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  • comm estab seven pieces legis

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio said in late April that he was creating a task force to lead a “fair recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, nestled in his announcement was a brief statement that he also intends to call another Charter Revision Commission. But the mayor hasn’t yet convened that commission, which would be the third to be created while he has been mayor, the second by him alone, and hasn’t explained his rationale for it. 

    There have already been two

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  • Jumaane Williams city budget presentation

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Crises are about our choices, and they reveal our priorities. I've always said that it's easy to be progressive in times of surplus, but that when funding is cut or curtailed, it is all the more important to stand by progressive values.

    Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has put extraordinary strain on the city's finances, and in accounting for this, human responsibility must be paramount. Facing $10 billion in lost tax revenue, sacrifices will be necessary

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  • nypd bk protest williams lander 

    Thursday evening in Brooklyn (photo: Ethan Geringer-Sameth/Gotham Gazette)


    A tense standoff between peaceful marchers and police on a brownstone-lined block in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn could have turned violent Thursday night, if it was not for the intervention of local elected officials on the ground who negotiated the peaceful release of protesters corralled by cops intent on enforcing the mayor’s curfew.

    What began as a large march that set off from Barclays Center shortly after the 8 o'clock curfew numbered in the hundreds

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  • nypd social distancing nypdnews

    Police officers have been charged with social distancing enforcement (photo: NYPD)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has made the New York City Police Department the agency primarily responsible for ensuring social distancing in public amid the coronavirus outbreak, and while police data shows enforcement is taking place primarily in black and Hispanic communities, the city has not disclosed any official enforcement policies or guidance given to officers.

    In recent weeks, de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea have made vague references to

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  • city council hearing

    Mayor de Blasio visits health care workers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Though the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged New York City, causing more than 17,000 deaths and untold devastation on the lives of residents, the impact has been worse for communities of color where existing disparities in economic status and access to health care have only been exacerbated. On Thursday, the New York City Council will hold a remote oversight hearing to examine those disparities, their causes, and the steps that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is taking to

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  • council city hw

    (John McCarten/City Council)


    In his inaugural State of the People speech on Wednesday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams cast himself as Sisyphus, relentlessly pushing a boulder up a hill. But rather than the punishment doled out to the mythological Greek king, Williams bears the burden in service of the people of New York City, he said, and rather then being doomed to eternally fail, he said he is making progress.

    Over a roughly 40-minute speech, he touted his accomplishments as an ”activist elected official,” many of which came through legislation he

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  • kids Jumaane school

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    I’m a CUNY graduate twice over – my bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both from Brooklyn College. Between the seven years I took for my four-year degree, and the four years for my two-year degree, I’ve spent about as much time on a CUNY campus as anyone. My professors, my fellow students, my overall CUNY experience shaped who I am and what my driving principles are -- what I’ve been fighting for as an activist and an elected official.

    Now, as tuition rises and investment stagnates, I fear that students across our city

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  • anto reyes police body cam

    Monday's press conference at City Hall (photo: @changethenypd)


    [Update (Sunday Dec. 15): on Friday, Dec. 13, the NYPD released body camera footage in this case]

    Antonio Williams’ parents were not allowed to see their son in the hospital before he died from police gunshot wounds he sustained while attempting to flee a police stop in late September. Two-and-a-half months later, they are seeking footage from the body

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  • finance comm hearing

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The NYPD’s body-worn camera policies are a “work in progress,” a police official said at a hearing of the New York City Council’s public safety committee on Monday, seeking to allay concerns expressed by Council members about the program that now includes more than 20,000 uniformed officers. At the hearing, Council members had questions and criticisms about transparency and accountability taking a back seat to surveillance and police authority, particularly with regard to the NYPD’s control over body camera footage.

    The NYPD

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  • ee7tqcgxsaevmo6

    Jumaane Williams (photo: @nycpa)


    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democrat, easily won his reelection bid on Tuesday, beating Republican Joseph Borelli, a City Council member from Staten Island, and Libertarian Party nominee Devin Balkind. With about 723,000 votes counted and 90% of election precincts reporting at midnight, Williams had received 78% of the vote (563,000 votes) to Borelli's 20% (144,400) and Balkind's 2% (14,500).

    Williams previously represented Brooklyn in the New York City Council and was first elected to the public advocate’s office

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  • 37538369094 848cd1720a c

    (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    After about 60,000 New York City voters took advantage of the first early voting period in city history, albeit during an especially quiet electoral year, more than 650,000 others went to the polls on Election Day 2019, providing mostly expected results and approving multiple controversial ballot proposals to change city elections and governance. This year provided a helpful initial test run for early voting and all that goes with it, such as electronic poll books and a lot of poll-worker training, before what is expected

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  • mnn borelli

    Public Advocate candidate Joe Borelli talks with Ben Max on MNN


    The race for New York City Public Advocate is one of the few elections on the ballot this fall, and it's only happening because former Public Advocate Letitia James was elected New York Attorney General, leading to a special election in February to replace her for the duration of this year, followed by an election this fall to see who will hold the citywide position for 2020 and 2021. Then-City Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat like James, won the February election by a wide margin in a crowded field.

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  • mnn balkin

    Public Advocate candidate Devin Balkind talks with Ben Max on MNN (photo: @MNN59)


    The race for New York City Public Advocate is one of the few elections on the ballot this fall, and it's only happening because former Public Advocate Letitia James was elected New York Attorney General, leading to a special election in February to replace her for the duration of this year, followed by an election this fall to see who will hold the citywide position for 2020 and 2021. Then-City Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat like James, won the February election by a wide margin in a

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  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • jw jb db

    l-r: Jumaane Williams, Joe Borelli, and Devin Balkind (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    October 21, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Candidates for Public Advocate

    Jumaane Williams, Joseph Borelli, Devin Balkind

    There's an election for New York City Public Advocate this fall, and just ahead of the October 26 start of early voting and Election Day,

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  • jw jb db2

    l-r: Devin Balkind, Jumaane Williams & Joseph Borelli


    One of the few seats on the ballot this fall involves a citywide race, with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams defending his seat against two challengers in order to serve the remainder of the term, which runs through 2021, after he won a February special election. While the three candidates running have very different backgrounds and visions for the job of public advocate, Williams’ opponents, Republican City Council Member Joe Borelli and Libertarian Party nominee Devin Balkind, both concede that their chances of victory are slim and seem

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  • vocal ny housing presser oct 2019

    Friday's press conference (photo: Vocal New York)


    A coalition of housing rights advocates and elected officials is seeking a “new deal” for homeless people living in New York City, as one activist put it at a rally on Friday.

    Members of the coalition gathered in front of City Hall to point out what they believe to be shortcomings of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing agenda and the dangers of celebrating too early the plan to shutter the Rikers Island jails. The jails are a cornerstone of the city’s criminal justice system that the advocates say

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  • jw jb db2

    l-r: Devin Balkind, Jumaane Williams and Joe Borelli (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, one of three citywide elected officials, is up for reelection this fall, but it looks like the Brooklyn Democrat won’t have to defend his (albeit short) tenure so far in a public forum with his two challengers. Neither Staten Island City Council Member Joe Borelli nor nonprofit leader Devin Balkind, the Republican and Libertarian nominees, respectively, seeking to unseat Williams, has qualified for the first of two official,

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  • yesone1 commoncause

    (photo: @commoncauseny)


    A coalition of elected officials, business and labor leaders, and reform groups gathered Thursday in Lower Manhattan to launch a campaign to convince New York City voters to change the way they elect their representatives in city government.

    Voters in New York City this fall will have the opportunity to approve ballot referenda on a number of reforms to the City Charter, including a new election system known as “ranked-choice voting.” The new system would allow voters in primary and special elections -- but not general elections -- to

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  • spcojo borelli

    Joe Borelli, center (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Joe Borelli, the Republican City Council Member from Staten Island’s South Shore, has made a name for himself as one of the most vociferous pro-Donald Trump supporters in the president’s home city. But, Borelli is a realist and knows that Trump is unpopular in very-Democratic New York, and that the Republican Party has a lot of work to do to regain a foothold in city or state government after several disappointing elections.

    During ...

  • Joe Borelli

    City Council Member Joe Borelli (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    August 14, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Future of the New York Republican Party

    joe borelli wbai 150 pxCity Council Member Joe Borelli, a Staten Island Republican and strong supporter of President Donald Trump, joined the show to discuss his candidacy for Public Advocate and the present and future of the New York Republican

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  • proposes mybdbd become

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As he campaigns for president, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly said that “this year” the city will pass a mandate that most businesses provide employees with two weeks of paid personal time each year, but the City Council, which would have to pass such legislation, has not committed to the timeline the mayor is touting.

    De Blasio first announced his support for paid personal leave and said it would get done “this year” in his January ...