New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is an effective leader, a frontline fighter against injustice and inequality, and a guiding force for change.
From Brooklyn of Grenadian heritage, Williams began his career as a community organizer and advocate for tenants’ rights after graduating with a master’s degree from Brooklyn College. In 2009, he was elected to the New York City Council representing Brooklyn’s 45th District.
While a member of the City Council, Williams became a leader in the fight against then-Mayor Bloomberg’s abuse of the odious “stop, question and frisk” policy that targeted young men of color, and other important reforms of the NYPD. He sponsored the Community Safety Act, legislation that established major changes to city policing, including creating the Office of the Inspector General that oversees unlawful and unethical behavior by officers within the City’s police department.
In his three terms at the City Council, Williams led efforts to combat gun violence by helping to create Cure Violence Groups that reduced shootings. He also challenged the de Blasio administration’s affordable housing plan. Williams prioritized efforts to keep at-risk communities from being priced out of their homes and passed legislation to curb landlord abuses of low- and middle-income tenants.
Elected in 2019 to the Office of Public Advocate in a special election, Williams raised his activism to a higher level, actively working for transformational change in affordable housing, race, and gender issues while addressing the increasing problem of inequity in education and city services.
In running for a full term as New York City’s Public Advocate, Williams will continue to champion forward-thinking progressive policies on behalf of all New Yorkers. He will push for additional powers for his office to better serve the city. Williams also will fight for further housing reforms to benefit the community instead of developers, work to end mass incarceration and other criminal justice reforms, put an end to underfunding public schools serving immigrant and communities of color, and strongly supports a comprehensive approach to fighting climate change.