Adam Clayton Powell IV to Run for Public Advocate

Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV of Harlem is officially running for Public Advocate.

“I opened up a committee last Tuesday — yes,” he told me just now. "It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I decided to take the plunge, open up a committee and see how far I can take it."

Powell, the son of the Congressman from Harlem, was singled out in a New York Sun article last year for not having introduced a single piece of legislation in three years.

When I asked him about it, he told me, “There’s more to leadership than the number of bills you can race to introduce…I think there’s more to do this job than that." He said that he has introduced and passed bills related to the elderly, mass transit and other issues.

When asked about the current public advocate, he said Betsy Gotbaum has “done a decent job, very admirable.”

Powell brushed aside questions about how the field is shaping up. He said he’s heard that some supposed contenders have decided to run for other offices and told me, “We don’t even know who’s running for president, and that’s taking place as we speak.”

His committee, Powell for the People, hasn’t raised any money yet. His likely opponents include attorney Norman Siegel, who raised $80,456 for what would be his third bid for this office, and City Councilman Eric Gioia of Queens, who has raised $1,623,445.

Here’s a piece Kirsten Danis did before Powell had officially declared, in which he tells her, “People think it’s a useless job…The reality is it’s not useless. There really is a lot you can do.” [added]

Adam Clayton Powell IV to Run for Public Advocate