Brooklyn assemblywoman vies for public advocate

Brooklyn assemblywoman vies for public advocate
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.
Office of Assemblyman Nick Perry

Brooklyn Democratic Assemblywoman Latrice Walker Tuesday night threw her hat in the ring for Public Advocate of New York City.

“I am extremely proud to be a candidate for New York City Public Advocate,” Walker, who represents the 55th Assembly District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “My campaign is about fighting injustice wherever it may occur, in any community throughout our city.

“Whether you are a NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) resident in the South Bronx without heat, a parent on the Upper West Side who wants the best education for your children, a senior in Clinton Hill without access to quality healthcare, a grandparent in Staten Island concerned about the environment you will leave to your grandchildren, or a subway rider from Far Rockaway who can’t get to work on time, I will be your advocate, your agitator, your litigator and your legislator,” Walker assured.

“I will never hesitate to stand up to the Mayor and take him on whenever he neglects the needs of any community, or wherever I see the inhumane treatment of any group of New Yorkers,” the assemblywoman added.

“Justice, fairness and equity are the values that guide me as a mother, as a community leader, and as an Assemblywoman, and they are the values that will shape my service and vision as New York City’s next Public Advocate,” Walker continued.

Tuesday night Walker announce her candidacy for Public Advocate on “Inside City Hall,” with Errol Louis, on Spectrum News NY1.

Walker was elected to the New York State Assembly in a special election in 2014 for Assembly District 55, which covers Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Cypress Hills, and East New York.

A lifelong advocate and practicing attorney, Walker said she has worked to preserve and create affordable housing, and affordable homeownership opportunities, while fighting for NYCHA residents.

Walker is currently a member of the New York Bar and a founding member of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals.

Born and raised in Prospect Plaza, a NYCHA development demolished under a Federal HOPE VI grant, Walker said she has experienced firsthand the effects of displacement and the need for adequate representation.

In the Assembly, Walker is a member of the Housing, Election Law, Energy, Correction, and Insurance Committees, and serves as the chair for the Subcommittee on Renewable Energy.

Walker also serves as the chair for the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators.

She is the latest candidate to announce her candidacy for the position, which will become vacant when Letitia James officially takes office as the new Attorney General for New York.

After opening a campaign committee last month with the New York City Board of Elections in anticipation of the race, Council Member Jumaane Williams earlier this month officially launched his campaign to become New York City’s next public advocate.

Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, who represents the 45th Assembly District in Brooklyn, said last month that he would formally run for public advocate if the position, held by African American James, becomes vacant.

Democrat James made history in 2014 by becoming the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City.

During the midterm elections, on Nov. 6, James again created history by becoming the first African American woman to be elected New York State Attorney General.

The public advocate, the second highest ranking elected office in the city, after the mayor, serves as a direct link between New Yorkers and their government, and acts as a watchdog over city agencies.

The public advocate also investigates complaints about city services and makes proposals to address any shortcomings or failures of those services.

Williams and Walker, among others, will contest a special election to be set shortly by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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