Jumaane Williams to run for New York City Public Advocate Position

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Jumaane Williams. Photo: www.jumaanewilliams.com and Flickr.

New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) has announced his intention to run for Public Advocate of the City of New York after opening a campaign committee with the Board of Elections in anticipation of the race.

Williams, a progressive Democrat currently serving his third term in the New York City Council, filed paperwork to open the citywide campaign committee in advance of the November 6th general election.

The current Public Advocate, Letiticia James, is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party line for Attorney General of New York State. If and when the Public Advocate position is vacated, Williams will formally launch his campaign to fill the Public Advocate role in a special election to be set by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shortly after the vacancy occurs.

"I have always felt that my job as an activist elected official has been to make sure the voices of all New Yorkers are lifted up, and to create the kinds of changes that have a tangible positive impact on their lives," Williams said. "New York City needs to live up to its promise as a progressive beacon, and government needs not just to legislate but to listen. Too many working class New Yorkers are struggling, and this city belongs to them- not just to the rich or real estate lobby. This is our New York and it's time to take it back. As Public Advocate, I will fight make this city affordable, equitable and just for the many, not the few."

The office of Public Advocate serves as a direct link between the electorate and their elected officials by acting as a watchdog for all New Yorkers. The Public Advocate acts as an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address any shortcomings or failures of those services. It is also the first in line to succeed the Mayor.

The announcement comes after Jumaane received nearly 650,000 votes to become Lieutenant Governor of New York last month, with more than 400,000 votes from individuals throughout the five boroughs.

His candidacy was endorsed by The New York Times, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Working Families Party and countless elected officials, unions and progressive advocacy groups across the state.

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