THE NEW PUBLIC ADVOCATE

February 28, 2019 at 5:00 am

Councilman Jumaane Williams is now the New York Public Advocate, beating 16 opponents. What cemented the win?   

Aired on February 27, 2019.

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>>> BUT I KNOW THAT AS A YOUNG
BLACK BOY SOMEWHERE WHO WAS
YOUNG, HE'S TRYING TO FIND HIS
SPACE IN THE WORLD.
NOBODY KNOWS HE CRIES HIMSELF TO
SLEEP SOMETIMES.
NOBODY KNOWS HOW MUCH HE MISSES
HIS FATHER.
NOBODY KNOWS WHAT HE'S GOING
THROUGH.
>> YES.
YES.
>> AND YOU HAVE TO HIDE IT AND
YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT.
BUT I'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY TO
THAT YOUNG MAN AND I THINK ABOUT
IT VERY OFTEN.
MY NAME IS JUMAANE WILLIAMS AND
I'M A PUBLIC ADVOCATE OF NEW
YORK CITY.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]
>> IT'S A MOMENT THAT STILL HAS
THE CITY TALKING TONIGHT.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS WAS BOTH
EMOTIONAL AND UNGUARDED AS HE
ADDRESSED NEW YORKERS FOLLOWING
HIS DECISIVE VICTORY IN THE
CROWDED SPECIAL ELECTION FOR
PUBLIC ADVOCATE.
HE TOUCHED ON EVERYTHING FROM
HELPING THE CITY'S MOST
DISADVANTAGED TO HIS OWN
STRUGGLES WITH MENTAL HEALTH.
HE WON ABOUT 33% OF THE VOTE
DURING TUESDAY'S ELECTION
HOLDING OFF QUEEN'S COUNCILMAN
ERIC ULRICH AND MELISSA
MARK-VIVERITO WHO FINISHED
SECOND AND THIRD OUT OF 17
CANDIDATES ON THE BALLOT.
WILLIAMS, A BROOKLYN CITY
COUNCILMAN IS FIRST IN LINE TO
BECOME MAYOR IF de BLASIO CANNOT
CONTINUE.
SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE
CITY'S NEXT PUBLIC ADVOCATE?
FOR ANSWERS I'M JOINED NOW BY
CITY AND STATE POLITICS REPORTER
JEFF COLTON WHO WAS THERE LAST
NIGHT IN BROOKLYN COVERING
JUMAANE WILLIAMS' VICTORY.
JEFF, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.
>> TELL US ABOUT THE VICTORY,
HOW WAS THE CROWD'S REACTION?
HOW DID IT GO DOWN?
>> SECOND TIME IS THE CHARM FOR
JUMAANE WILLIAMS.
HE WAS AT CAFE OMAR IN FLATBUSH,
THE SAME LOCATION WHERE HE
CELEBRATED HIS -- MAYBE NOT
CELEBRATED, BUT HE WAS THERE ON
ELECTION NIGHT FOR THE
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S RACE BACK
IN SEPTEMBER 2018.
>> YES.
>> HE LOST THAT RACE AGAINST
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR KATHY
HOCHUL.
HE CAME BACK TO THE SAME SPOT
THIS TIME AND HE WON.
IT WAS A BIG CELEBRATION,
CARIBBEAN MUSIC WAS PLAYING
THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT AND LIKE
YOU MENTIONED JUMAANE GOT
EMOTIONAL IN THE SPEECH.
IT WAS AN IMPRESSIVE SHOW OF
JUST EMOTION IN THIS KIND OF
SPEECH THAT MOST PEOPLE DON'T
OPEN UP.
USUALLY I'LL BE HONEST
ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES ARE PRETTY
BORING.
THIS WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL AND
THE PARTY WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, YOU MENTIONED -- I MEAN,
JUST TALKING ABOUT GOING BACK TO
THE SAME SPOT AND CARIBBEAN
MUSIC PLAYING.
IT SPEAKS TO THE FACT THAT
IDENTITY POLITICS DID PLAY A BIG
ROLE IN THIS CAMPAIGN AND I'M
WONDERING IF YOU CAN TELL ME WHO
GOT THEIR BASE OUT AND WHO WAS
VOTING FOR WHO THIS TIME AROUND.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
IF YOU GO BY BOROUGH, JUMAANE
WILLIAMS TOTALLY CLEANED UP IN
BROOKLYN AND HEN WHO THE MOST OF
THE VOTES IN MANHATTAN.
OTHER CANDIDATES WON THE OTHER
BOROUGH, STATEN ISLAND QUEENS
AND THE BRONX, BUT JUMAANE HAD A
SOLID SHOWING IN ALL OF THEM.
REALLY HE BUILT QUITE A
COALITION HERE.
IT HELPED THAT HE RAN FOR
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR LAST YEAR.
HE GOT MANY OF THE SAME
SUPPORTERS TO BACK HIM THEN TO
JOIN HIS CAMPAIGN THIS TIME.
I'M TALKING ABOUT THE WORKING
FAMILIES PARTY, THE PROGRESSIVE
GROUP.
"THE NEW YORK TIMES" ENDORSED
HIM THEN AND ENDORSED HIM IN
THIS RACE.
GROUPS LIKE MANHATTAN BOROUGH
PRESIDENT GAIL BREWER BACKED
HIM.
SHE'S VERY INFLUENTIAL IN
GETTING VOTES IN MANHATTAN.
IT WAS QUITE A COALITION FOR
WILLIAMS.
OF COURSE HE'S A BROOKLYNITE.
HIS STRONGEST BASE OF SUPPORT IS
ALWAYS THAT BLACK COMMUNITY IN
BROOKLYN.
>> WELL, THEN ON THE OTHER HAND,
THERE IS OF COURSE ERIC ULRICH
WHO A -- A REPUBLICAN, ALSO HAD
A VERY GOOD SHOWING.
I MEAN, HE CAME IN SECOND.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
WELL, HE WON IN QUEENS AND
STATEN ISLAND WHICH IS YOU KNOW
QUITE IMPRESSIVE FOR A
REPUBLICAN IN NEW YORK CITY.
I THINK DEMOCRATS OUTNUMBER
REPUBLICANS SOMETHING LIKE 6-1.
BUT THAT WAS ACTUALLY ULRICH'S
STRATEGY HERE.
BECAUSE THE 17-MEMBER FIELD WAS
I BELIEVE THERE WERE 15
DEMOCRATS, HE WAS HOPING THAT
EVEN BY WINNING JUST THE
REPUBLICANS, HE'D HAVE A STRONG
SHOWING.
SURE ENOUGH IT WORKED, IT DIDN'T
WORK ENOUGH FOR HIM TO ACTUALLY
WIN THE RACE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
SO NOW THAT WE HAVE JUMAANE
MOVING INTO THIS POSITION WHICH
OF COURSE AGAIN THERE WILL BE
ANOTHER PRIMARY COMING UP IN THE
SUMMER SO WE'LL BE DISCUSSING
THIS AGAIN.
BUT AT LEAST RIGHT NOW HE HAS
BEEN CRITICAL OF MAYOR de
BLASIO.
DO WE HAVE ANY INDICATION OF
WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP TO SEE
BETWEEN THE TWO?
>> WE SHOULD SEE PARTICULARLY
COMBATIVE.
JUMAANE, HE CALLS HIMSELF AN
ACTIVIST POLITICIAN HE HAS BEEN
KNOWN TO -- HE GETS ALONG WELL
WITH OTHERS.
HE HAS BEEN PRODUCTIVE
LEGISLATIVELY.
EVEN IF HE SPEAKS OUT AGAINST
THE MAJORITY ON ISSUES HE'S
MANAGED TO GET THINGS DONE.
WE CAN EXPECT SOME OF THAT I'M
SURE HE'LL PARTNER WITH de
BLASIO ON SOME ISSUES BUT HE HAS
BEEN CRITICAL IN THE PAST OF
THINGS LIKE TOO AGGRESSIVE
POLICING BY THE NYPD.
I'M SURE WE'LL SEE HIM SPEAK
MORE ABOUT THAT.
ABOUT TENANTS' RIGHTS.
THAT WILL BE ANOTHER PLATFORM OF
HIS.
SO, YOU KNOW, WE'LL SEE WHAT
HAPPENS BUT WE SHOULD EXPECT
THERE TO BE SOME BUTTING OF
HEADS BETWEEN THE TWO.
>> AND OF COURSE WE WILL BE BACK
AT THIS AGAIN, SO JUST A QUICK
REMINDER WHY THERE WILL BE
ANOTHER PUBLIC'S ADVOCATE RACE
THIS SUMMER?
>> WELL, BECAUSE LETITIA JAMES
GOT A NEW JOB, THE PUBLIC
ADVOCATE POSITION HAS TO BE
FILLED IN A SPECIAL ELECTION NOW
AND IT WILL BE FILLED IN ANOTHER
SPECIAL ELECTION LATER THIS
YEAR.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS OF COURSE WILL
BE THE PRESUMPTIVE WINNER
ALREADY FOR THAT RACE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
SPEAKING OF THINGS THAT PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH THE
MAYOR ON OR PERHAPS THE MAYOR
WORKING WITH OTHER PEOPLE, WE
HAVE SEEN MAYOR de BLASIO MOVE
HIS THINKING ON THE PRICING
CONGESTION AND WORKING ON THIS.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
THE MAYOR AND GOVERNOR CUOMO
ANNOUNCED THEIR PLAN TO FUND THE
MTA.
THIS HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT'S
BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR YEARS AND
de BLASIO HAS ALWAYS FAVORED IN
THE PAST A MILLIONAIRE'S TAX
RAISING THE TAX ON THE CITY'S
WEALTHIEST IN ORDER TO PAY TO
FIX THE SUBWAYS ESSENTIALLY.
NOW HE'S GOING ALONG WITH WHAT
THE REST OF THE DEMOCRATS IN THE
STATE HAVE SUPPORTED WHICH IS
CONGESTION PRICING.
WHICH MEANS THAT IF ANYBODY
DRIVES IN TO MANHATTAN BELOW
61st STREET, THEY'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO PAY A TOLL AND THAT
MONEY IS GOING TO GO TOWARDS THE
MTA.
WE DON'T HAVE A NUMBER ON THE
TOLL YET.
THOSE DETAILS ARE STILL GOING TO
BE WORKED OUT BY THE STATE
LEGISLATIVE IN ALBANY, BUT THIS
IS A BIG MOVE.
THE FACT THAT de BLASIO IS
SUPPORTING THIS AND IT MEANS
THAT THIS IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN
SOME TIME IN THE COMING MONTHS.
>> NOW OF COURSE THE DEVIL'S IN
THE DETAILS WITH THE LEGISLATURE
AND THERE'S SOME INDICATION THAT
NOT EVERYBODY IS 100% ON BOARD
WITH THIS, CONSIDERING SO MANY
LEGISLATORS REPRESENT THE
SUBURBS OR PEOPLE NOT IN NEW
YORK CITY WHO WILL BE DRIVING
IN.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
WE HAVE SEEN THEM COMPLAIN ABOUT
THE PLAN SAYING LOOK, WE LIKE
THE DETAILS BUT YOU NEED TO GIVE
SOME OF THE FUNDING ALSO TO THE
LONG ISLAND RAILROAD.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO DISCOURAGE
THEM FROM DRIVING IN, MAKE IT
EASY FOR US TO TAKE THE TRAIN
IN.
>> OF COURSE WE'LL HEAR FROM THE
NEW PUBLIC ADVOCATE.
WE HAVE HEARD SOME SHADE FROM
SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON ON THE
CONGESTION, BUT WE'LL HAVE YOU
BACK TO TALK MORE ABOUT THAT.
THANK YOU FOR COMING IN.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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