The Public Advocate is one of New York City’s three citywide elected posts, along with the mayor and the comptroller.
The Public Advocate acts a watchdog. The office has the power to collect complaints, investigate agencies and propose legislation to the City Council. The Public Advocate can preside at general meetings of the City Council and sit on various boards.
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The Public Advocate becomes interim mayor if that office is vacant. The Public Advocate has also served as a “stepping stone” to higher posts. One-time Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in 2013 and his successor, Letitia James, won the office of NY State Attorney General last year.
The office has an annual budget of $3.6 million and a staff of 45 people.
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