New York City Public Advocate
The office of Public Advocate for the City of New York is a citywide elected position in New York City, which is first in line to succeed the Mayor. The office serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or "watchdog," for New Yorkers.
The office was created in 1993, when the New York City Council voted to rename the position of President of the City Council. Following the City Charter revision of 1989 which eliminated the powerful New York City Board of Estimate on which the President held a seat, the post was seen as largely ceremonial; its only notable responsibility was to cast the deciding vote in the City Council in the unlikely event of a tie. At the time, it was thought likely that the post would be abolished altogether.
The position nevertheless survived, and has thus far been held by three Democrats, Mark Green, Betsy Gotbaum, and Bill de Blasio. The 2009 election to succeed Gotbaum was highly competitive and was won by Bill de Blasio.
The Public Advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation. Prior to a 2002 charter revision, the Public Advocate was also the presiding officer of the Council. The Public Advocate also serves as an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services. These duties, worded somewhat ambiguously, are laid out in Section 24 of the City Charter. The Public Advocate is also charged with appointing members to various boards and commissions, including one member of the New York City Planning Commission. The Public Advocate serves on the committee which selects the director of the Independent Budget Office.
Along with the Mayor and the Comptroller, it is one of only three municipal offices elected by all the city's voters.
 List of Public Advocates
|Name||Term of Office|
|Mark J. Green||January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001|
|Betsy Gotbaum||January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2009|
|Bill de Blasio||January 1, 2010 –|
 See also
- Raab, Selwyn (30 January 1993). The New York Times 'President' Is Confusing; Council May Alter Title http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00610FE39540C738FDDA80894DB494D81 'President' Is Confusing; Council May Alter Title. Retrieved 3 December 2010. Missing or empty
- Cardwell, Diane. "Betsy Gotbaum, the Advocate, Struggles to Reach Her Public". Retrieved 14 January 2013.