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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.
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