New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams announced today that he has launched an exploratory committee to run for Governor of New York in 2022, which comes after filing paperwork today with the Board of Elections to create a statewide campaign committee account.
As part of the exploratory committee, the Public Advocate is convening an advisory council of elected officials, advocates and community leaders from across the state to advise on policy, politics, and strategy of a campaign, and will tour the city and state throughout the month of October to hear directly from New Yorkers about the issues most important in their communities.
“I’ve spent my entire career, most of my life, pushing and advocating and fighting on behalf of the people and against injustice and inertia. What’s wrong in New York, and what’s stopping the people in power from changing it. I’m proud to have had many successes in that fight,” said Jumaane D. Williams in announcing the exploratory committee. “Now, our state is attempting to recover from a pandemic and move forward from an era of toxicity, of scandal, of ego, and personality standing in the way of progress. I’ve always been dedicated to public service, and over the coming weeks, I’m considering how best I can serve in that work to renew New York.”
Prior to being elected Public Advocate, the second-highest ranking elected office in New York City, in 2019, Jumaane served over nine years in the New York City Council. He mounted a progressive insurgent primary campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 2018 while a City Council Member, winning New York City and garnering over 46% of the vote statewide. He has also served as Director of a statewide housing justice organization and continues to work to unite communities across the state to solve shared issues and pursue shared goals.
Since becoming Public Advocate in 2019, Jumaane has passed more legislation than any of his predecessors throughout their tenure, ranging from protecting affordable housing and promoting racial equity in development to codifying the right to record police activity. In his time in public office, he has passed 68 bills into law, including legislation to curb the abuses of stop and frisk, to ban the box on job applications, to promote sustainable infrastructure, and to protect against discrimination on the basis of reproductive health decisions.
“It’s going to take bold, principled, consistent progressive leadership to get us through these next months and years,” said Jumaane. “The culture that created, enabled, and empowered Andrew Cuomo and his administration, and others like him is still there. Andrew Cuomo’s Albany is still there. We need to reject the systems and people that created this leadership crisis in order to move New York forward and better serve New Yorkers.”
Jumaane D. Williams is a first generation American of Caribbean heritage who in 2010 became the first elected official in the nation with Tourette Syndrome. His areas of focus throughout his time in public service have included housing affordability and housing justice, public safety, gun violence prevention, and racial and economic equity, among others.
The advisory committee will be made up of voices from across the New York City and state, and include among them Brad Lander, NYC Council Member and Democratic nominee for New York City Comptroller, Antonio Reynoso, NYC Council Member and Democratic nominee for Brooklyn Borough President, and Tiffany Garriga, Second Ward Alderwoman and Majority Leader of the Hudson Common Council.
“From Brooklyn to Buffalo, there is a real hunger for a more just and equal New York. Jumaane Williams brings both a powerful voice for justice and a strong track record to the task of delivering on that vision and I’m excited to be joining his exploratory committee as an adviser. Jumaane’s courage and compassion guide his work on behalf of New Yorkers, and that’s certainly something we need much more of.” – NYC Council Member Brad Lander.
“In the Hudson community and statewide, there’s been a clear receptiveness to and demand for progressive policies - both in the wake of the pandemic and prior to it. This movement has been building for years, and Jumaane is the perfect person to unite that energy from all across the state and bring it to the Governor’s mansion. He’s been out there, and each time he comes to Hudson, it’s clear to my constituents that he understands the challenges we’re facing and the need to unite to confront them. Throughout his career as a community organizer and activist elected official, he's demonstrated clear leadership in New York City and across the state. I’m honored to help work with him in the coming weeks to determine the best ways to bring the state together around common needs and goals.” – Majority Leader of the Hudson Common Council, Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga.
“This year in races from mine in Brooklyn, to India Walton’s in Buffalo, to Council seats across the five boroughs, true, courageous progressives won. We need that movement to carry into the Governor’s mansion, so that when difficult challenges arise, we can trust that the Governor will make the right choice, not the politically expedient one. Over the years I’ve worked with him, Jumaane has been principled, progressive, consistent and effective. He’s managed to have successes in spite of systems standing in the way, and he’s used his power and voice to uproot those systems. As he explores a run for Governor, I’m excited to help support him in extending that mission throughout New York State.” – NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso.