Have you voted yet?
The Democratic runoff election for public advocate is happening right now. Candidates Tish James and Dan Squadron each have impressive bona fides when it comes to livable streets. In his four years in Albany, Squadron took the lead in shepherding a number of street safety bills through the State Senate. StreetsPAC-endorsed James has been a reliable voice of reason in the City Council, a proponent of street redesigns in her district, and has pledged to use the public advocate’s office to draw attention to NYPD traffic enforcement. In a televised runoff debate, both reiterated their support for congestion pricing.
Despite having a relatively tiny budget and limited power, the public advocate has bully a pulpit that can be used to highlight whatever issues s/he deems important. The public advocate steps in if the mayor is unable to complete a term, and the job often serves as a springboard to run for higher office.
Here’s an overview of positions taken by James and Squadron on street safety, transit, parking and related issues.
- Voted for congestion pricing and the “Bikes in Buildings” bill.
- Has consistently supported traffic-calming and public plazas, was an early backer of the Grand Army Plaza redesign.
- Defended bike lanes in the City Council at a time when NYC DOT’s bike program was under attack.
- Wants cars out of Prospect Park.
- Was an early supporter of bike-share.
- Opposed the Atlantic Yards project in her district.
- Made her support for parking reform in Downtown Brooklyn conditional on extracting other amenities and zoning changes for the neighborhood.
- Hesitated to support B44 Select Bus Service at first because of the upgrade’s effects on street parking.
- Was the lead sponsor of Hayley and Diego’s Law, co-sponsored the truck crossover mirror bill, and voted to expand NYC’s red light camera program.
- Convened the Delancey Street Working Group to implement safety measures on Delancey after the death of Dashane Santana.
- Voiced support for congestion pricing during his initial run for State Senate.
- Sponsored the bill to regulate curbside inter-city bus service.
- Sponsored a bill to establish residential permit parking in NYC.
- Pushed for wider access ramps linking the FDR to the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Voted in favor of a bill to make it easier for alleged drunk drivers to retain limited driving privileges.
Turnout today is expected to be very low, so your vote can help make the difference for either candidate. The polls close at 9 p.m.