2017 Endorsed Candidates

New York City Mayor

No Endorsement

For the first time in more than 50 years, Citizens Union, by a unanimous vote of its governing board, declined to support any of the candidates running for Mayor. Citizens Union noted a number of Mayor Bill de Blasio's accomplishments during his term but expressed a particular concern that the Mayor's conduct has raised many troubling ethical issues. Citizens Union expressed the hope that in the future whoever is elected mayor will address the perception of a "pay-to-play" culture at City Hall and support ethics reform legislation for the benefit of all New Yorkers.   

Besides the incumbent, the only other major party candidate, Nicole Malliotakis, is earnest, has a promising future, but would benefit from more experience in order to run a government of the size and complexity of New York City. The other candidates evaluated, Sal Albanese and Michael Tolkin, did not demonstrate the range of leadership skills or public support to receive endorsement consideration.

Public Advocate

Letitia James (D)

Age: 59
Occupation: New York City Public Advocate

Education: CUNY Lehman College, B.A.; Howard University School of Law, J.D.

QuestionnaireWebsite

Letitia James has served as the Public Advocate of New York City since 2014, the first woman of color to hold citywide office. She had served in the Council since 2003, where
she chaired the Sanitation and the Economic Development Committees. James began her career as a public defender for The Legal Aid Society and went on to be the Assistant
Attorney General in charge of the Brooklyn Regional Office. As Public Advocate, James has had multiple accomplishments. She has litigated to address issues on a wide range
of topics, such as sexual assault, housing rights, police reform and education policies, and advocates for an increase in the scope and powers of the Public Advocate’s litigation
capabilities to approach and resolve issues. In her role as Public Advocate, James has published various policy reports, which detail specific issues relating to New Yorkers’ daily
lives, from the gender wage gap and education to affordable housing and criminal justice reform. James publishes the Worst Landlords List, which has been integral to her success helping New York City tenants advocate for their housing rights. In addition to her litigation and advocacy work, James has proposed legislation passed by the Council, including the Equal Pay Legislation that banned employers from requesting information about wage and salary history. In her second term James would like to improve the way the city deals with FOIL requests, believing that more FOIL officers are needed in each agency to ensure timely responses. James believes the Public Advocate should have an appointment to the Panel for Educational Policy, and stands for greater parental voice in the schools. In addition to the power to litigate, which she has been exercising, James believes that to remain a strong independent arm of city government the Public Advocate should have a budget independent of the Mayor and Council, and subpoena power. Although supportive of many Citizens Union positions, she opposes holding a constitutional convention. James has an excellent command of the issues facing the city and has used the office of Public Advocate effectively to advocate for change. Citizens Union believes she merits reelection. 

City Comptroller

Scott Stringer (D)

Age: 57
Occupation: New York City Comptroller

Education: John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Questionnaire | Website

Scott Stringer is the current New York City Comptroller and has been a member of the New York political landscape for decades. He first held office as a State Assembly Member from 1993 to 2005, and then was Borough President of Manhattan from 2006 to 2013. In 2013, he was elected to the position of New York City Comptroller and is now seeking re-election. His current priorities include addressing issues of affordability, homelessness, NYCHA housing conditions, and making the Department of Education more transparent. He urges the development of new affordable housing options by leveraging his audit and investigation power to find solutions to creating new units and maintaining the  existing stock. Other priorities include putting the MTA’s finances on a more sustainable footing and protecting the environment. Lastly, Stringer promises to build an inclusive economy by increasing Women- and Minority-owned Business Enterprise (WMBE) procurement. Stringer aligns with Citizens Union on most issues, except that he opposes holding a constitutional convention, and opposes eliminating party primaries and establishing a nonpartisan election system. Citizens Union believes Stringer has been an effective Comptroller, providing sound stewardship of the city’s finances and, notably, the city’s pension funds, where he has sought to achieve more coordination among the various funds that have been set up by law. He also has counter-balanced the Mayor on a number of issues, an appropriate role for the city’s financial watchdog. Stringer warrants another term as Comptroller; neither of his opponents can match his command of the issues or experience in handling this important position.