As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the public advocate primary candidates, who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.
Current Occupation: Professor of education and politics at Teachers’ College, Columbia University and the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University
Personal Info: Cathy Guerriero served as director of Government Relations for Catholic Charities and director of Strategic Planning for the Archdiocese of New York. As associate director, Guerriero coordinated Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit. Previously, she worked as a strategic planner for non-profits and small businesses. Guerriero graduated from Wagner College and obtained an MPA and a doctorate in educational administration from NYU.
Issues/Platforms: Our city faces key challenges. Unemployment is unbearable. People are losing their homes. The strength of our schools is at stake. Businesses are overwhelmed by paperwork. We are losing confidence in our leaders. Guerriero is running to give voice to everyone from each of our boroughs, from the threatened middle class to the most vulnerable New Yorkers – the poor, the newly arrived. The voices of all New Yorkers matter and Guerriero will make sure that they are heard so they all get the city services they deserve. That’s why she is the most endorsed candidate in the race, with support from faith leaders, law enforcement, firefighters and school employees – the people who build and serve our city.
Current Occupation: New York City Councilmember, 35th District
Personal Info: Councilmember Letitia “Tish” James was born and raised in Brooklyn. After graduating from Howard University, James began her career in public service, starting as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society. She later served as an Assistant Attorney General for New York State and was elected to the City Council in 2003.
Issues/Platforms: As Public Advocate, James wants to expand the office by creating a Citywide Advocates Network, Crisis Intervention Center, Parental Education and Empowerment Program, Cyber Awareness and Protection Unit, Immigrant Support Unit, and a Public Advocate at “Your Doorstep Initiative.” James will stand up for poor people and working families who are being squeezed out of the city. She will fight for women’s rights and immigrants’ rights. She will take on power interests on behalf of everyday New Yorkers. She will keep fighting to reform stop and frisk and end racial profiling. James has done all of these things throughout her public service career and will continue to do so. She will continue to be the fighter for all New Yorkers as NYC Public Advocate.
Current Occupation: Former Deputy Public Advocate; Founder of Girls Who Code
Personal Info: Reshma Saujani is the daughter of immigrant refugees who grew up in a middle class home where her parents struggled to make ends meet. Since then, Saujani has dedicated her life to public service and standing up for our most vulnerable. She previously served as Deputy Public Advocate and founded the national non-profit Girls Who Code to teach teenage girls, many from Queens, the skills to get jobs in technology.
Issues/Platforms: Saujani is running to create more opportunity for all New Yorkers at a time when the American Dream seems continually harder to realize. She is not a product of the corrupt culture of Albany or City Hall, but rather an independent voice who knows how to use the office of Public Advocate to find real solutions to real problems. Saujani has also been a lifelong advocate for women and communities of color, and she will continue to fight for equal treatment and to end racist practices like stop-and-frisk. She will fight to ensure that the opportunities that this city has given to so many, including herself, are available for every New Yorker.
Current Occupation: State Senator (Brooklyn/Manhattan)
Personal Info: Daniel Squadron is a lifelong New Yorker. First elected to the State Senate in 2008, Squadron unseated a 30-year incumbent in a grassroots campaign for change and has gotten results as a progressive reformer.
Squadron’s dedication to public service began at an early age. His grandfather came through Ellis Island and his father, Howard Squadron, rose through poverty to become the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Squadron now lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn.
Platform/Issues: Squadron has a proven track record of getting results for everyday New Yorkers — fighting corruption in Albany, writing landmark new gun laws and advocating for affordable housing, parks and public transportation. He has a plan to make the public advocate’s office more effective for children, seniors and regular families who need a voice in City Hall.
Squadron has been endorsed by New Yorkers across the city, including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, both former Public Advocates Mark Green and Betsy Gotbaum and Queens leaders like Senators Joe Addabbo, Tony Avella, Michael Gianaris and Jose Peralta and Assemblymembers Phil Goldfeder and Nily Rozic.
MORE PRIMARY GUIDES
- Queens borough president
- City Council District 19
- City Council District 22
- City Council District 24
- City Council District 27
- City Council District 28
- City Council District 31
- City Council District 32