Government agency NYC
The Office of Public Advocate for the City of New York is a citywide elected position in New York City, which is first in line to succeed the Mayor. The office serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or "watchdog," for New Yorkers by providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services.
The Public Advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation. The Public Advocate is also charged with appointing members to various boards and commissions, including the New York City Planning Commission. Through these powers of appointment, the Public Advocate influences City planning, the budget process, and the management of retirement funds.
Government is often resistant to change, but the Public Advocate's role is to make our bureaucracy more responsive and to hold our elected leaders accountable to the needs of the people.
On November 5, 2013, Letitia "Tish" James was elected as the fourth Public Advocate for the City of New York. She began her term on January 1, 2014.