Mark Green was the city’s first public advocate, and has remained in the public eye since then.
Councilman Bill de Blasio, who chairs the General Welfare Committee, has emerged in the past eight years as a leading reformer in the City Council. De Blasio led council opposition to the term limits extension, and to his credit is not running for a third term in his district, which he would win easily.
Councilman Eric Gioia, chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, is a talented politician who many believe still has a significant upside.
Elected to the council in his late-20’s, Gioia has brought energy and enthusiasm to his office, famously living off food stamps for a week once to raise awareness about citywide hunger.
Yet the public advocate’s office is best suited for Norman Siegel, the only candidate who has not held elected office, and who has no clear ambitions to hold higher office.
Siegel is the former longtime executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. As an attorney dedicated to civil rights and other social justice causes, Siegel has advocated for public interests since the 1960’s.
He would be a natural fit for the one citywide office devoted entirely to representing citizen concerns and fighting for better city services. For that reason, we endorse Norman Siegel for public advocate.