Watch the video of our June 3, 2021 New York City Comptroller Candidates Forum with the Harlem Village Academy here.
THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE of New York City is a watchdog, dedicated to confirming all New Yorkers receive the City’s services they are entitled and have a voice in shaping government policies. The Public Advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the power to introduce legislation. The Public Advocate also influences City planning, the budget process, and the management of retirement funds. The Public Advocate is first in line to become Mayor.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Théo Bruce Chino
35 years computer software engineer
Cofounder of the RepMyBlock website
Interim first federal secretary of the Harrington Style DSA branches (or Shadow-DSA)
Elected New York County Committee Member for the 2nd ED in the 71st AD
Member of Community Board #9 from 2006 to 2009
Member of the French Socialist Party since 2004
Member of the Board of the International organization Français du Monde in Paris from 2006 to 2008.
Cofounder of Education Française à New York
Cofounder of the Anti-Corruption website Show the Books – https://showthebooks.org
Cofounder of the #ByeCy movement – https://byecy.org
Candidate for New York Public Advocate
When Tony Herbert was a teenager, a wave of gentrification cost his family their home. Tony was raised by a single mother who dedicated her career to NYC public school students. She taught Tony to appreciate education, hard work and family. They didn’t deserve to lose everything. As he sat in the abandoned building in Prospect Heights that was now his home, Tony made a pledge: he would make the city more equitable.
Since then, Tony has fought to give voice to the voiceless and opportunity to the marginalized. As a community activist, he improved the lives of disenfranchised New Yorkers by advocating for NYCHA residents, helping to reduce gun violence in our streets, and promoting job creation in underserved communities. Tony knows what it’s like to struggle – to fear eviction or worry about putting food on the table. So, he also knows how to help those who need a hand.
Tony Herbert is proof that real New Yorkers don’t leave anyone behind. As a vocational specialist, he worked tirelessly to get our mentally ill and homeless population back on their feet. He never gave up on them, even when the system did. No matter what happened, Tony was there to help get you employed.
Currently, Tony continues to serve as an executive community member of the NAACP-NYCHA chapter, Executive Vice President of Youth Step USA, and President of the National Action Network’s NY Public Housing Chapter.
Our elected officials listen to Tony; he’s provided crucial guidance to members of NY City Council, NY State Senate, and the US House of Representatives. In addition, Tony is an accomplished media consultant. His career in public and community service is highly respected.
Above all, Tony is a married father of 4 and an every day New Yorker. He holds onto the values that his mother taught him. He’ll do right by New Yorkers, just like his mother taught him. He knows the struggles of our most vulnerable communities and the challenges facing a shrinking middle class. Tony understands the frustration New Yorkers have with a failing school system, crumbling infrastructure, and rising crime. He has the guts to speak truth to power and the leadership to make things happen. Across the city, Tony has been there for those in need.
Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil “Doctor Devi” is an Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine, a small business owner with a private practice in the Financial District, and a mother of two small children. She was the only woman in her residency class and the only woman in her fellowship class at Harvard Medical School. She has dedicated her life to protecting her patients, furthering medical research, and improving medical education and health literacy. She previously directed and developed the Veterans Affairs’ Pain Management program for the New York City tristate area. She has been voted by her fellow doctors to Castle Connolly’s and New York Magazine’s list of Top Doctors in the country since 2015. Doctor Devi regularly appears on national TV- on The Dr. Oz Show, the TODAY Show, CNBC and other networks- to discuss the latest medical developments. She was the medical contributor for Fox 5 New York for several years.
Jumaane Williams has served as New York City’s Public Advocate since 2019. Prior, he represented the 45th District in the New York City Council, in Brooklyn, from 2009-2019.
Jumaane is a first-generation Brooklynite of Grenadian heritage. He was diagnosed with Tourette’s and ADHD at an early age, but made it through the public school system from pre-school to master’s. He attended Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented and Brooklyn Technical High School, then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooklyn College. After graduating, Jumaane began his career as a community organizer by serving as the assistant director for the Greater Flatbush Beacon School, then later as the executive director of New York State Tenants & Neighbors, where he fought for truly affordable, income targeted housing across the city and state. In 2009, he began his career as an activist elected official in the New York City Council.
During his time at City Hall, Jumaane has championed landmark legislation that has resulted in transformational change. In his first term, Jumaane aimed to end the abuse of the NYPD’s use of stop, question and frisk by sponsoring the Community Safety Act. The legislation passed despite a veto from then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and reformed the city’s police department by putting an end to unlawful practices typically used in communities of more color, while creating the NYPD’s Office of Inspector General, charged with investigating unlawful or unethical practices within the department.
As Co-Chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, he helped create New York’s Crisis Management System, which funds Cure Violence Groups that work to reduce shootings through a multi-pronged approach. Since then, New York has become the safest city it has been in more than 50 years. As Chairman of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, he challenged the de Blasio Administration’s affordable housing plan by advocating for more deeply targeted affordable housing to help prevent communities from being priced out of the five boroughs.
Throughout his three terms, Jumaane has stood shoulder to shoulder with marginalized communities fighting for justice and equity for all, and has proven that he is not afraid to get arrested in the process. In fact, he has been arrested more than any other sitting elected official, fighting for women’s rights, immigration rights, housing rights, police injustices and more.
Jumaane recently ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York State, where his progressive campaign received more votes than any other candidate of more color in a statewide primary, and was endorsed by grassroots groups and individuals across the nation, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, The New York Times, and countless elected officials, unions and advocacy groups. He ran against the political establishment to transform the office of Lieutenant Governor so that it mirrored the office of the New York City Public Advocate–one that served as a true watchdog for New Yorkers, not just a rubber stamp to the Governor.
After serving more than two decades as an advocate for the public, he is now running to officially become New York City’s next Public Advocate.
Learn more about the 2021 New York City Election and the candidates running for other offices here.