Felder’s Argument for Eliminating the Public Advocate

Here’s Simcha Felder’s report on why the city should get rid of the public advocate’s office, which he’s proposing in legislation he’s introducing today.

He makes an efficiency argument, saying that the city would save millions of dollars on the cost of the public-advocate election on the scale of this year’s:

“Assuming four Democrats run against each other in a primary election, two face-off in a
runoff election, and the winning Democratic candidate challenges one opponent in the general election, the maximum amount of public matching funds doled out by the city would total $13,763,500. This is in addition to the cost of a runoff election,” it says in the sixteen-page report.

And he makes an institutional argument, namely that the public advocate functions ought to be given to the City Council.

“The Public Advocate currently offers New Yorkers a citywide pseudo-legislative, pseudoindependent activist and agent of oversight, albeit one that has been unable to achieve much reform. However, the Public Advocate could be replaced with a Council member-at-large at substantially less cost to the taxpayer, and one that would return citywide public advocacy to the City Council, giving it access to the powers vested in that office.”

Felder’s Argument for Eliminating the Public Advocate