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Bill de Blasio
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Bill de Blasio is the Public Advocate for the City of New York. As the City’s second-highest elected official, the Public Advocate helps to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the City services they deserve and have a voice in shaping the policies of their government.

De Blasio began his work in New York City government as an aide to Mayor David Dinkins. During the Clinton Administration, he was appointed Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he served under former Secretary Andrew Cuomo to expand affordable housing for New Yorkers. In 1999, de Blasio was elected to the School Board for District 15 in Brooklyn. In 2000, he managed Hillary Rodham Clinton's successful campaign for U.S. Senate.

In 2001, de Blasio joined the New York City Council where he represented District 39 in Brooklyn for eight years. As a member of the New York City Council, de Blasio helped secure more than $100 million in funding for early education programs, and wrote landmark tenants’ rights legislation to protect affordable housing and end landlord discrimination. As the Chair of the Council's General Welfare Committee, de Blasio fought to improve services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including children and the homeless.

In November 2009, de Blasio was elected as the City’s third Public Advocate. His priorities as Public Advocate reflect his values―offering public school parents a voice in the education system; making government more efficient and transparent; and serving New Yorkers neglected by City Hall. Community organizing has been a hallmark of de Blasio’s tenure. When City Hall threatened to lay-off thousands of teachers, de Blasio organized a successful coalition of elected officials, parents, students, and advocates to win back millions of dollars in classroom funding. Similarly, he has successfully fought to protect neighborhood schools and save firehouses that were slated for closure.

As Public Advocate, de Blasio has been a force for greater accountability and transparency in City government. From highlighting problems with water bills to fighting red tape and excessive small businesses fines, de Blasio has fought to protect taxpayer dollars and streamline government operations to better serve New Yorkers. De Blasio has also been a strong advocate for improved police and community relations, fighting against the city’s excessive use of stop-and-frisk tactics.

De Blasio has received national attention for his work to stop the flood of secret corporate spending in our elections – mobilizing elected officials across the country to join this cause. He has also led efforts to pressure gun manufacturers to end the sale of military-grade assault weapons on the civilian market.

De Blasio holds a Bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University. De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, met while working in the Dinkins Administration. They are the proud public school parents of Chiara, a college freshman, and Dante, a high school sophomore.

Entries by Bill de Blasio

A New Health Care Vision for New York City's Workforce

(3) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 11:53 AM

More than 65 years ago, New York City began providing affordable healthcare to its workforce through free clinics for members of the city's health plan. It was an idea ahead of its time -- and now is the moment to bring it back.

Right now, the city spends $6.3 billion...

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Bridging NYC's Income Inequality Gap

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 2:47 PM

I often speak about New York becoming a "Tale of Two Cities." For the wealthiest New Yorkers, these are the best of times.

The Dow Jones Industrial average recently set a new record -- breaking 15,400 for the first time in history. On the Upper East Side sits one...

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The Bloomberg Administration's Attack on the Judiciary

(17) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 12:09 PM

Soon, Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin will issue a ruling in the high-profile federal lawsuit regarding the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk practices. After years of failing to meaningfully reform this broken policy, City Hall now faces the prospect of federal intervention and monitoring to mend stop-and-frisk.

Of all the case's twists,...

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5 Reasons I'm Okay With Asking the Wealthiest New Yorkers to Pay Just a Little More

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 10:23 AM

Last October, I put forward a plan to fund universal Pre-K and expanded after-school with a small tax surcharge on New Yorkers making more than $500,000 a year. It may not be popular at a lot of fancy cocktail parties -- here are five reasons why I'm okay with that.

...
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NYC Can't Afford a Late Start to Early Education

(3) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 12:09 PM

It's time for a new education mantra: start early.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama threw down the gauntlet and called for pre-kindergarten for every child who needs it.

It was a historic commitment, all the more so because it came on the heels of...

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To Compete, Our Kids Need to Start Early and Learn Longer

(5) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 5:28 PM

I was there on September 5 at the Democratic National Convention for one of the most powerful moments of this presidential campaign, when my former boss Bill Clinton exhorted the crowd and the nation to a vision of shared prosperity and real investment in our future.

But getting there is...

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Where Airport Security Falls Flat

(3) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 7:18 PM

Billions of dollars spent at our airports since 9/11 have bought many of us peace of mind when we fly. We consent to the x-rayed bags, the metal detectors, the undoing of belts, the removing of shoes, and even the infamous pat-down -- all because they contribute to our collective...

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Spurring Growth in Every Neighborhood

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 2:35 PM

The following piece is based on a speech on economic growth delivered by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service. The full speech is available here.

10 percent.

Our city, the undisputed capital of world commerce and American ingenuity, has...

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Help Parents Work: Pass Paid Sick Leave

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2012 | 2:21 PM

By Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray

Every parent knows the dread of waking up to find your child sick with the flu. Or receiving that teacher's call that your child has a terrible cough and must be picked up. Right away.

We all have the same impulse...

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Don't Make Our Finest Fight City Hall for Their Lives

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 1:46 PM

On September 11, 2001, police officer Alonzo Harris rushed into the World Trade Center, without second thought, doing his job, protecting his fellow New Yorkers. He survived the collapse of the South Tower, diving under a parked car as dust fell and the ugly thick plume of smoke rose. Officer...

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Unhappy Anniversary

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2012 | 8:27 AM

Today marks the unfortunate two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates for undisclosed spending in our elections. In just two years, we are already all too familiar with how this landmark ruling has transformed campaigns and elections in this country, threatening the fabric of...

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A Blow to Freedom of the Press

(9) Comments | Posted November 29, 2011 | 2:55 PM

Of all the troubling aspects of the Bloomberg Administration's decision to remove demonstrators from Zuccotti Park on November 15th, none proved more damaging to our city's democracy than the exclusion and harassment of the press.

The sequence of events on that day has no parallel in recent memory. Just after...

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The American DREAM

(25) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 12:01 PM

No facet of our country's immigration debate is more heartless or economically foolish than our failure to support undocumented children who have grown up on American soil. These young people have gone to school alongside their native-born peers and in many cases have shown themselves to be outstanding scholars, athletes...

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It's Time to Bring Our Troops Home

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 12:19 PM

Osama bin Laden's death has generated a swell of palpable emotion across the nation and especially here in New York City. Following the September 11 attacks and our subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, it has been a priority of this country and this city to bring Osama bin Laden to justice....

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An Open Letter on Behalf of Public School Parents to Chancellor Dennis Walcott

(2) Comments | Posted April 15, 2011 | 6:17 PM

To Chancellor Walcott:

For the past nine years our schools have been run by a top-down bureaucracy that too often alienates public school parents. To your great credit, you have said that you want to engage parents and communities more than in the past. But you have also said that...

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The Conservative War Against Planned Parenthood

(7) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 4:00 PM

It comes as no surprise that newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill are revving up for fresh attacks on women's reproductive health care. Just last week, Congressman Pence (R-IN) has led the drumbeat to strip federal funding for Title X, the nation's family planning program, which provides women with access...

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Humane Alternatives for Horse-Drawn Carriages

(320) Comments | Posted February 10, 2011 | 9:22 AM

The carriage horses of Central Park have been enduring the beginnings of another long, harsh winter. After years of trying to reform the industry, the time has come for New York City to turn the page, and finally embrace safer, more humane alternatives to the horse-drawn carriages.

London, Paris, Las...

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Defend Democracy -- Make Companies Disclose Political Spending

(8) Comments | Posted May 5, 2010 | 6:04 PM

At the beginning of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that amplified the power of our country's already powerful corporations by giving them free reign to spend without limit or restraint in our elections. This decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, opened new avenues for corporate...

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Disclose Now!

(32) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 12:19 PM

Earlier this year, Justice Stevens ended his powerful dissent in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission with the following words: "While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics." While many have focused on...

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Time For Justice To Do The Right Thing

(8) Comments | Posted October 23, 2009 | 10:43 AM

By Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray

When we first started dating, we faced many challenges as an interracial couple. Resistance came from friends and even family, but there was one experience more direct and threatening than all the rest. It was 1991 and Jungle Fever, a Spike Lee film...

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