Town & Village has opined before about the uselessness of certain city elected positions, like borough presidents and the public advocate, the latter of which has an office that’s currently up for grabs.
On Tuesday, February 26, there is an open special election for the office of public advocate, which was vacated by Letitia James when she became attorney general. Now, 17 people are vying for her position, which despite having no real power, has proven to be very powerful in another way, by boosting one’s profile for the next big race. Mayor Bill de Blasio is a good example of this.
We can understand, however, if people aren’t motivated to do these candidates any favors. It’s hard to think of any important things accomplished by the public advocate other than the maintenance of the worst landlord watchdog list. But even this is not enough of a reason to keep the office open at the taxpayers’ expense in our view. That said, our view on this matter doesn’t actually matter at all because despite an ongoing City Council effort to eliminate the position, of public advocate, it’s still there. So New Yorkers may as well make the best of their (many) options.
With such a sprawling candidate list, it’s possible someone could win with a single digit score. So your vote truly does matter. It also presents an opportunity for write-in candidates if none of the official candidates are to your taste.
Town & Village hasn’t interviewed the candidates about their campaigns, so we’ll refrain from making an endorsement, but as always we do endorse taking a moment to remind people seeking the power of public office who they work for. Don’t forget to vote.