Daniel Squadron Considers Bid for Public Advocate

State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes Brooklyn Heights, has announced he is strongly considering a run for Public Advocate, perhaps the third most powerful city office after Mayor and City Council Speaker, in the 2013 city wide election. The incumbent Public Advocate, Park Slope resident Bill de Blasio, is expected to run for Mayor.

According to the Wall Street Journal, others considering running for Public Advocate are City Council Member Letitia James, whose district includes Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, along with parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant; and Manhattan resident Reshma Saujani, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in 2010, and now works for de Blasio.

Squadron’s term as a state senator expires in January 2013; he will run for re-election to that office this year.

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  • stuart

    What does the Public Advocate do exactly and how much could we save if we eliminated the position?

  • Matthew Parker

    How about serving one’s district for more than a single term rather than naked career ambition to be mayor by age 40? Or is the NYS Senate just that lame and irrelevant?

  • stuart

    Isn’t Warren Wilhelm, aka Bill De Blasio the current Democratic Public Advocate? So is Squadron going to challenge him

  • Chris

    De Blasio is presumes to be running for Mayor.

  • Chris

    I am concerned about this shift, both because I fail to see any real value in the PA position, and because a vacancy in our Senate Seat would give Vito Lopez and and the Brooklyn Machine a chance to bring in another hack.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Well Chris, I guess it’s up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen!

    Squadron would make an excellent, effective Public Advocate.

  • Reggie

    stuart, the Public Advocate’s total budget for Fiscal Year 2012 was $2,255,477 when the budget was adopted.

    By way of (one) comparison, Marty Markowitz’s budget was $5,208,718.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Matthew: Squadron is now in his second term. He was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010; senate terms last two years. If he wins re-election this year, he will be in his third term if and when he runs for Public Advocate.

    Unfortunately, being a New York State senator in the minority party is pretty much lame and irrelevant. If the Democrats regain control of the Senate this year, which is very unlikely considering how the latest redistricting went, Squadron may reconsider and decide to stay there.

  • Reggie

    Claude, I agree with everything you wrote at 11:53 but have to add, that’s a pretty sad commentary on the New York State legislature. The minority party is still able to serve a function in Congress (although lately it has been almost strictly an obstructionist role).

    Further in response to Matthew, I cannot think of anyone who served as Public Advocate or the position it evolved from, City Council President, who became Mayor. (Caveat: My memory only goes back to the ’60s.) I believe de Blasio is polling last among the current crop of mayoral candidates.

    Given how Squadron has gone about his current job, I think he would make an excellent Public Advocate.

  • chris

    No PA has ever been elected as Mayor; this is likely due to the caliber of the office holders. There have in fact been only three: Mark Green, Betsy Gotbaum (never ran for Mayor) and Bill DeBlasio.

  • stuart

    The position of Public Advocate is just fluff. I say save the 2.5 million or whatever and get rid of the position. Same thing for the Boro Presidents. That position is a relic of the old Board of Estimate days. All the BP’s do today is dole out a little pork here and there.

  • epc

    Here here, let’s just get rid of all democratic representation and designate an executive for life. Probably don’t need a City Council either.

    The PA could serve as a public counterweight to the mayor, however the office has been hamstrung from the start by both the City Council and the Mayor’s Office under various mayors. In theory the PA is mayor in the absence of the mayor from the City (and certainly from the country), in practice none of the PAs have challenged the incumbent mayor on this point, allowing Deputy Mayors to run the City in the stead of absentee mayors.

  • still here

    Check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Public_Advocate

    It’s a great position to put all those politicians who have no where else to go, and despite being a heartbeat away from the Mayor, most of them go nowhere afterwards. Where is Mark Green? Betsy Gottbaum? Do you think DeBlassio will even make a dent in Quinn’s march to the mayoralty?

    What happened to Squadron’s pursuit of the BP?

    Better he stays with the state.

  • stuart

    It’s all just nonsensical waste of taxpayers money. And there will always be idiot dingbats who will insist it is very necessary for representative government.
    If you want to live somewhere with representative government, you would do well emigrating from New York, which is far closer to a big-money oligarchy than to an ideal Jeffersonian democracy.

  • Quinn Raymond

    Having someone from the area in a city-wide position would be great for the community.

  • RAF

    Squadron has been a Bloomberg lackey in the State Senate – remember his leap to lead the Senate in extending mayoral control of the public schools? With Quinn as Mayor and Squadron as PA we might as well elect Bloomberg for another term. Ugh!

  • Knight

    Back when NYC gave homeowners a $400 tax rebate, there was a year that I did not get mine. The city’s tax department said I was not the legal owner for the full year (after having owned the place almost 7 years)! In sorting it all out, my councilman was useless and my state senator and assemblyman told me it was a city issue. Only when I called PA Betsy Gotbaum’s office did I get someone who helped me resolve it. The PA’s job seems like “all fluff” until you need an advocate at City Hall.