The job of public advocate is essentially to be the official “complainer” of New York City; to be the City Hall watchdog for the residents of New York City. The public advocate is also next in line to become mayor.
James is a fiery maverick in the City Council, perhaps best known for her outspoken battles against the Atlantic Yards Project. She was fighting for more jobs, more affordable housing and more accountability from a developer who might not have been so eager, if not for James, to yield to those demands.
Although she wasn't always successful in those endeavors, we do believe she got a taste early and often for what it's like to try and take on City Hall - good experience for the post she now seeks.
Publishing two community newspapers in the heart of Brooklyn - the Greenpoint Star and Brooklyn Downtown Star – we have seen both Squadron and James at work, up close and personal, and have a unique perspective on the two candidates. We know that both James and Squadron know to wage a fight.
But the difference comes down to two main issues for us, leading us to believe that Squadron is a better fit for the post.
First, we sense Squadron will be a more effective public advocate because his perspective is more citywide than James. He will get more respect from the various groups the public advocate will have to work with and he is much more mayoral than James. We feel Squadron will be able to get results because he has solid relationship with elected officials from the city to the federal level.
But more importantly, if de Blasio wins, he and James come from the same mold; they are both Working Families Party disciples and share many of the same viewpoints. While that might not seem like a critical factor, we feel that Squadron would be a much more independent public advocate than James, which is really the most important part of the position.
We say vote for Daniel Squadron when you go to the polls on October 1.