We should support Tish James for Public Advocate

New Action has not discussed an endorsement for Public Advocate. Michael Shulman sent the following personal appeal to our Executive Board:

September 25, 2013

Dear New Action,

Most of you know me from my 40+ years as a union activist and as a co-chair of New Action/UFT. In the recent citywide elections, many of us put our efforts behind one or another candidate with the hopes of electingsomeone who would put an end to the failed legacy of Michael Bloomberg.

One election our union, the UFT did not make an endorsement for was the office of Public Advocate. Among other things, I have been working and supporting the candidacy of Letitia James for Public Advocate.

As you probably saw, the NY Times says there will be a very small turnout of 100,000 to 150,000 and that if all the unions that have endorsed Tish turn out their own members she will win. I believe the UFT stayed out of this race because both candidates are fairly progressive. “Tish” is endorsed by 1199, 32BJ,TWU 100, DC 37 and a number of smaller unions. Squadron is not endorsed by any unions.

At a candidates debate before the Sept. 10 primary, Tish took the positionthat public workers should receive retroactive pay. Squadron said it woulddepend on whether the city had enough money.

I have never known a candidate more committed to the interests of working people – poor and middle class – racially oppressed or white – and so capable a fighter.

And she is incorruptible in standing up to the 1% in behalf of the 99%.Recently, you could see her at demonstrations to save our libraries and our hospitals, and in the City Council as a leading fighter for the legislation to end racial profiling in stop and frisk, for sick leave, and for the legislation she led in sponsoring to protect tenants’ well-being from landlord violations of living conditions.

If elected, Tish James will be the only woman, the only person of color in a city of over 6 million people of color, and the only African American elected to office city-wide. Your help by voting for her on election day can help make up for her lack of money from the big-monied interests.

I am writing to urge you to join me in a big final push for Letitia James on October 1. Your vote really does count!

In solidarity,

Michael Shulman

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1 Response to “We should support Tish James for Public Advocate”


  1. 1 Arjun Janah October 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I saw this only now — but thanks, Michael.

    I had noted the Working Families Party’s endorsement of Letitia James (usually a good sign for workers). I also noted the flood of glossy flyers in the mail, from Sen. Chuck Schumer on down, and the flood of phone calls from the same in support of Daniel Squadron — a sign that the big money was behind him and was running scared. So I told everybody whom I could speak to about such things to vote for Tish James, and did so myself.

    I was a bit troubled, however, by her alleged opposition to the big-soda ban (where Bloomberg’s methods were wrong but the goal was legitimate) — and Squadron’s assertion that Coca Cola had given her money. How much, it was not said.

    This was troubling for me because of the diabetes pandemic that I have been noticing and talking to my students about for the past two decades.


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