Meet Public Advocate Tish James

Friday, January 31, 2014

Letitia James (Courtesy New York City Council)

Letitia James, new New York City Public Advocate , discusses her goals for the office and the news of the day, including the de Blasio administrations's decision to drop a stop-and-frisk ruling appeal.


Letitia James

Comments [28]

Carol from Manhattan

The comments include two of my favorite topics: 1. The sell-off of public libraries in the Brooklyn and New York systems and the impending wreckage of the 42nd Street Library from which three million books have already been removed 2. the misbehavior of bikers, few of whom obey any traffic laws except when they feel in danger themselves. They have no concern for children or for the slow reaction time of older people. Letitia James has been an active advocate for the public in the past and we all hope that these two items will be among her concerns in her new position.

Feb. 09 2014 01:16 AM
C. M. P. from Manhattan

Only one excellent group of library defenders has been acknowledged on your show. But there are numerous groups, and there are many more individuals who are concerned with the way the board of the NYPL, peopled with real estate developers and financiers (and too few quiet -- muzzled? -- editors, writers and users of libraries) has been running things. Please acknowledge the existence of far more than one group of protesters and library users on this issue so crucial to the life of our city.
The City's Library Systems are betrayed by their own board. The City must step in.

Feb. 03 2014 01:25 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Haha John, from mail room. Is that your feeble attempt at classism? It's never your fault, is it John?

Jan. 31 2014 12:31 PM
John from Mail Room

What's wrong with mail room workers? Elitist snob!

Jan. 31 2014 11:25 AM
A. Dallas from Bronx, NY

It's painful listening to government officials complaining about statistics they use to sway people for their own purposes, or are too incompetent to investigate: Stop 'n Frisk encounters are recorded on a UF 250 form. Due to higher performance demands created by the department's reliance on CompStat, responding patrolmen routinely make out this form for ALL persons in the vicinity of virtually every "radio-run," or street "pick-up" job to help demonstrate activity in light of ongoing crime rates. FACT: actual Stop 'n Frisk encounters occur only in limited precincts, generally within the evening and early night time hours, and conducted by young, aggressive personnel.
The erroneously high numbers given to the media, numbers upon which the court found these encounters to be
unconstitutional, is clearly impossible. Due some calculations, we'd have every cop stopping people every minute of every hour of every day to achieve those absurd results.

Jan. 31 2014 10:44 AM
ella beilin

First of all, i was underthe impression LJ had to step down in lught of the scandal. Very strange indeed. But this is not the reason i leave this comment. If we will have a school day off for the Chinese New Year, what about a day off for Novruz Bairam, Rosh Hashanah and many other new year days that are observed by the Newyorker of differenr origins and backgrounds. Kids will have fun, parents will have to arrange babysitters, and who will study hard?

Jan. 31 2014 10:40 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John, now who has a victim mentality? That wasn't a typo. If you are going to make one of your trademark statements about "poor education" and "black leaders" - the least you can do is get your words right. What part of your "office" do you work in, the mail room?

Jan. 31 2014 10:37 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

To all the comments above about bikers, YES!!! As a pedestrian who is terrified of cyclists coming out of nowhere (wrong lane, wrong way on one way streets, on the sidewalk, going through red lights) cyclists should be ticketed for violating traffic laws. I only wish more drivers would get tickets so they'd stop running red lights, etc.

Jan. 31 2014 10:33 AM
john from office

Shelly, typing fast, I work for a living.

Jan. 31 2014 10:28 AM
marjorie hirsch

Regarding bicyclists getting tickets: The cyclists demonstrate flagrant disregard for traffic lights and pedestrians and deserve to be ticketed. They may wear helmets, but their threat to others is real.

Jan. 31 2014 10:26 AM
Ann from Rockland

Please remind Ms James and your listeners that bicycle riders are allowed to ride in the street but are required to observer the rules of the road. I personally support making cycling, and walking the preferred modes of transportation but as a pedestrian I have had too many close calls with bicycles to have any sympathy to riders who feel entitled to a break on traffic tickets.

Jan. 31 2014 10:26 AM

Bicyclists are definitely NOT separate from cars regarding the traffic laws. If you want bikes treated differently than cars, that action needs to happen at the STATE level.

NYC cops running up a ticket score because you biked through an otherwise safe red light (seriously, who loses if you call it wrong?) is just another instance of the NYPD picking the low-hanging fruit. Another impact of statistics-driven policing, imo.

Jan. 31 2014 10:24 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

I was just on the air a moment ago, and there was a mistake where I was put on the air before, I actually spoke to a program screener. I basically stated my already previously posted written comment on this page about the selling off of public assets ("the sale of public assets, schools, parks, public housing, hospitals, including public libraries which Ms. James has spoken out against). Mr. Lehrer mistakenly thought I was another caller calling in about charter schools. While I obviously wasn't that caller, Citizens Defending Libraries has held two forums (more to come) about the sale of public assets and at those forums we have been talking about Charter Schools as part and and example of the overall problem of selling and privatizing public assets.

Jan. 31 2014 10:24 AM
Karla from Brooklyn

Bicyclists who break the rules of the road definitely need to be ticketed. I have three times almost been run over by bicyclists running red lights. And two of the three had the audacity to be upset with me, even though I had the right-of-way.

Jan. 31 2014 10:24 AM

poor biker calling in... Pay The Fee! If you got wheels you have to obey the laws, car, bike, or scooter. We have a death everyother day from this issue, and bikers deserve no breaks. You wanted your own lanes and bike shares, and more. You've gotten everything you wanted, so now man-up and stop your crying about it.

Jan. 31 2014 10:23 AM

Unfortunately, crime reduction is simply accepted or at least not challenged often enough in the debate, as a justification for the assault on liberty and privacy that stop-and-frisk is. A government recorder in everyone's phone and a government camera in everyone's home would also reduce crime, but that doesn't make those justified in a society which values freedom and freedom from an overbearing government. In a free society and one free from police-state tactics there is some civilian crime, and that very small risk is part of being free. In the opposite situation the crime just shifts to being committed by those with unfettered power.

Jan. 31 2014 10:22 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Typical he feels he should be able to run red lights? Is that what he is saying?

Jan. 31 2014 10:22 AM

maybe if bike riders would observe traffic laws . . . . .

Yes, pay like everyone else who dispobeys traffic laws pay. Bike riders are a menace to drivers, pedestrians and all manner of life!

Jan. 31 2014 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John, I think that you meant "indicative". Talk about poorly educated. You only wished that you got a degree from Howard. Where did you get your law degree, the University of Santo Domingo? I wouldn't hire you to defend me against a parking ticket.

Jan. 31 2014 10:17 AM

bravo, tish, on fighting co-locations. the research is clear: charter schools do not out perform public schools. yet, they undermine their resources, especially in the cases of co-locations.

Jan. 31 2014 10:16 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

good to see the usual pathetic white men are still around... hahahaha

Jan. 31 2014 10:15 AM
Cynthia Conti-Cook from Brooklyn

I'm a civil rights attorney in Brooklyn. I would love you to ask Ms. James whether she will be pushing for police officers to be held more accountable for civil rights violations by introducing a system to track individual officers' civil rights lawsuits, in addition to patterns of lawsuits by units, precincts, boroughs, etc. The Daily News had excellent coverage of this issue last May:
It would be a tool to track officers and units with repeat misconduct, which happens often. LAPD has implemented this and it has led to a huge reduction in civil rights lawsuits against LAPD.

Jan. 31 2014 10:14 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

We at Citizens Defending Libraries want to thank Public Advocate James for speaking out against the sale of public assets, schools, parks, public housing, hospitals, including public libraries which she mentioned in her inaugural address and her acceptance speeches when she won the office of Public Advocate.

Jan. 31 2014 10:09 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

So Gary -- what is your point?

Jan. 31 2014 10:08 AM
john from office

Way to go Brian! an impartial guest to speak on this subject,NOT!

Will she bring up how her brother was stopped?? By the evil Pooolice

Ms. James is addicative of the lack of leadership in the Black community. Poorly educated and a victim mentality. No a Howard University degree does not count.

Jan. 31 2014 10:08 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm usually a fan of Tish but I wasn't a big fan of the way she personally attacked Daniel Squadron because of his supposed trust fund, during their bitter campaign - she couldn't even look him in the eye on NY1, her implying that she should be elected public advocate because she is black and a woman, or her frothing at the mouth during the inauguration, slightly exploiting the Dasani situation.

That being said, she deservingly won that race. Hopefully she will stay independent of the DeBlasio administration and put in a good shift as public advocate, as she did when she represented Brooklyn in the City Council.

Jan. 31 2014 10:06 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side

Well, just as the word is out on the street that Stop, Question & Frisk is being restricted, my friend in Park Slope got mugged yesterday by two persons of color. Back to the bad old days.

Jan. 31 2014 10:05 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from M

Yes, meet Ms. James ... and for a full profile, let’s balance Brian’s sure-to-be-fawning interview with the article below (and be sure to watch the linked video of her “NYC-as-oppressor” inaugural rant in which she uses Dasani as a stage prop) -


“Thank you, Letitia James.
In just two days, the new public advocate’s outrageous behavior has made a slam-dunk case for the argument The Post has been making for decades: The public advocate is New York City’s most useless job — and it ought to be abolished.

On New Year’s Day, she delivered an inaugural address so over-the-top that it distinguished itself amid a long afternoon of speeches so distasteful that even THE NEW YORK TIMES called them “graceless and smug” — adding that James was the “worst among them.”

Jan. 31 2014 07:02 AM

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