Gotham Gazette

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Letitia James

Letitia James

  • Tish James City Hall

    Public Advocate Letitia James (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Eric Schneiderman’s resignation has triggered what could be a domino effect in New York politics, potentially creating vacancies in local offices and perhaps leading to New York City’s first citywide special election.  

    When Schneiderman stepped down from the post of attorney general, it kicked off a mad dash of people interested in becoming the next top legal officer of New York State. Even as the state Legislature moves through a process to choose an interim appointee, others have

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  • tish ag kickoff in bk sara valenzuela

    Public Advocate Letitia James at her AG campaign kickoff (photo: @saritamanhattan)


    New York City Public Advocate Letitia James officially launched her campaign for attorney general on Wednesday, seeking to make history as the first woman of color to serve as the state’s top legal officer.

    James, who is serving her second and final term as public advocate, and is the first woman of color elected to a citywide position, is running in the Democratic primary to replace former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who

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  • zephyr teachout anti idc rally

    Zephyr Teachout at an anti-IDC rally (photo: Ben Max)


    The recent resignation of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent shockwaves through the New York political world, and with just six months until New Yorkers elect a new attorney general in November, it sent potential candidates scrambling. Political party nominations are being decided, ballot spots must be secured, and party primaries are September 13.

    Soon after Schneiderman’s departure amid accusations that he was physically abusive of four women he had been

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  • fair vote sam

    Tuesday's press conference (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Several prominent Democratic elected officials and voting reform advocates on Tuesday assembled outside City Hall to call for instant runoff voting in citywide primary elections. Specifically, they said that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charter Revision Commission, which just began a series of public hearings across the city, should include it among the proposals it puts before voters on the ballot this November.

    Instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, allows voters to rank primary

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  • guvandrcuomo comm center

    Gov. Cuomo with top NYC officials and others (photo: Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order earlier this month to impose an external monitor on the crisis-plagued New York City Housing Authority has turned into a potential budget boondoggle for the city, with Mayor Bill de Blasio warning on Thursday of the “unforeseen consequences” the order could have on the city’s fiscal future.

    The governor’s

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  • City Hall Mayor's Office photo

    City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Revision of the City Charter, our central governing document, should not be a one-person show, focused on a single issue. Over the last 25 years, charter revision commissions have been wielded as political tools by mayors to block the building of a West Side Stadium, keep a political rival from potentially ascending to the mayoralty, and stop a referendum that would have limited the size of public school classes. Revisions have largely been narrow and myopic and the end results have

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  • Government Operations

    Council Member Cabrera and others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Note: The City Council passed this bill on Wednesday, April 11

    The New York City Council is moving ahead with a bill to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the city charter, the city’s seminal governing document, with a committee vote on the bill set for Tuesday, and the full Council likely to vote it through on Wednesday. The Council’s commission is a separate effort from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own commission, called by the mayor a few weeks

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  • Fernando Cabrera

    Council Member Fernando Cabrera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced initial appointments to a Charter Revision Commission that he is convening to examine the city’s campaign finance laws, Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer testified before the City Council on their own alternative proposal to create a Commission to examine the structure of city government.

    The Charter is the city’s seminal governing document, laying out the powers and functions of every level of

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  • Corey Johnson

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said last week that the Council would forge ahead with legislation to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the broad structure of city government, bucking Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to unilaterally create a commission meant to explore campaign finance and electoral reforms. And Johnson’s support of the bill -- first proposed in December by Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer -- also came with one significant change to

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  • Mayor de Blasio State of the City

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his State of the City speech that he would convene a commission to consider changes to the city charter, New York City’s seminal governing document. De Blasio said the charter revision commission would undertake the significant task of reducing the impact of “big money” on local elections and to engage voters in a democracy that has suffered from their apathy. The mayor is hoping the commission members, whom he has yet to name, will

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  • de Blasio inauguration

    Mayor de Blasio at inauguration (photo: NYC Mayor's Office)


    The recent citywide municipal election saw more than $53 million in spending, with nearly $42 million in private funds raised by candidates and more than $17 million in public matching funds disbursed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Candidates just filed their final campaign disclosures with the Board, which were due Tuesday, showing the last weeks of activity as the

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  • Cuomo State of the State podium

    Gov. Cuomo delivers his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his full policy agenda for the 2018 legislative session on Wednesday, returning to his traditional State of the State format: a single address at the Empire State Convention Center, chock full of slideshow-aided proposals and lofty rhetoric, with legislative leaders of all five conferences and other statewide elected officials accompanying him on stage.

    During the 92-minute speech, Cuomo gave

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  • mxm logo

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


    January 3, 2018 - Max & Murphy:  Big Political News to Start 2018

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    2018 has started with a bang in New York politics: already this week we've seen the re-inaugrations of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Comptroller Scott Stringer; the election of new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; and

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  • de Blasio Bernie Sanders inauguration progressives

    De Blasio is sworn in by Sanders (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, was sworn in for a second and final term at City Hall on a frigid Monday afternoon, in a ceremony attended by nearly a thousand people and starring United States Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

    De Blasio’s oath of office was administered by Sanders, the popular progressive leader who has championed policies to benefit middle- and working-class Americans, similar to the mayor’s own

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  • vacant bldg via hpd

    (photo via @NYCHousing)


    Two years ago, Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez each introduced a bill under a set called the Housing Not Warehousing Act, a package aimed at reducing homelessness and increasing the city’s affordable housing stock. The bills seek to mandate an annual tally of the number of vacant lots and buildings in the city, determining which of those under city jurisdiction could be developed for affordable housing, while also requiring landlords with vacant properties to

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  • voting elections New York City

    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio won reelection on Tuesday, earning about two-thirds of the vote in another low-turnout election -- about 1,070,000 voters cast ballots in the mayoral race. De Blasio's fellow incumbent citywide Democrats, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, also won reelection, each with about three-quarters of the vote.

    Among the most notable other votes cast in New York this Election Day, the constitutional convention ballot question -- proposal one on

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  • mxm logo

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


    October 18, 2017 - Max & Murphy: Analyzing the Public Advocate and Comptroller Debates

    brigid at debate nyc votesThe lone public advocate and comptroller debates of the election cycle occurred on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Brigid Bergin of WNYC radio (pictured, middle) was one of the panelists asking questions at

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  • 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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  • housing rally sign via nyccomptroller

    City Hall ralliers with Metro-IAF-NY (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    Thousands of New Yorkers, many of them residents of public housing, braved the rain on Monday, October 9, to rally outside City Hall to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to adopt a new direction for his affordable housing plan. Their alternative proposal, which had been presented by the leading advocates to the mayor ten days prior, calls for a radical investment in building new housing for low-income families, especially seniors, which critics say has

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  • tish presser nycprogressives crop

    Public Advocate James (photo: @NYCProgressives)


    Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat running for a second term, is facing a challenge from Republican candidate J.C. Polanco, who believes James has done little to hold accountable a mayor who aligns closely with her own politics. But James, an outspoken former litigator, has her defense ready as the two move toward a televised debate on October 16.

    During a recent ...

  • mxm logo

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


    October 2, 2017 - Max & Murphy with Public Advocate Letitia James

    tish james277Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat seeking reelection this year, joined the podcast to discuss her record of the past four years and what she will focus on in a second term if the voters give her that opportunity. James, the first woman of color to

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  • letitia james via teamsters

    Public Advocate Letitia James (photo: @TeamstersJC16)


    Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat seeking reelection to one of three citywide positions, has agreed to debate her Republican opponent regardless of whether the challenger, J.C. Polanco, meets the fundraising requirements to qualify for an official debate sanctioned and sponsored by the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

    James, who easily won in the

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  • 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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  • de Blasio voting election

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


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    by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
         

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  • mxm logo

    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

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