New York City — On the steps of City Hall, Brooklyn Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) Wednesday morning announced his plans to run to succeed Attorney General-elect Letitia James as the city’s public advocate in a special election for the seat expected in February.
“Earlier today I announced I’m officially running to be our city’s next Public Advocate, and that our campaign has been endorsed by political parties, labor unions, democratic clubs, and elected officials from across the city, including the New York Working Families Party!” Councilman Williams shared on Facebook 4:12PM Wednesday.
Williams was also endorsed by Kings County Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio, as well as several key Brooklyn elected officials including the powerful and growing Haitian-American block led by Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) and State Senators Kevin Parker(D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Boro Park) and Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) and City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington).
The public advocate serves as an ombudsman who provides oversight for city agencies, investigates citizens’ complaints about city services and makes proposals to address any of their shortcomings; it is also the first in line to succeed the mayor.
In an effort to combat gun violence, Williams has sponsored the Community Safety Act, which created the Office of Inspector General for the New York Police Department, and the Fair Chance Act. He also co-chairs the city council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence which spurred the New York’s Crisis Management System and Cure Violence Groups to mediate and mitigate violent conflicts within communities.
“It’s an honor to have so many of my colleagues and progressive grassroots organizations stand by me today as I officially announce my run for Public Advocate,” said Williams, who ran an amazing campaign for lieutenant governor, and came up just short of upsetting incumbent Kathy Hochul. “Our city needs a public advocate who can effectively be an activist elected official, fighting for working families across the five boroughs. So many of the challenges our city face are uphill battles, but I’m used to running up hills, and will continue to do that as our city’s next public advocate.”