In praise of Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate: she’ll sue

Ms. James has filed more lawsuits against mostly city agencies than her three immediate predecessors combined over 20 years.

Source, New York Times: Letitia James’s Ease in the Courtroom Informs Her Role as Public Advocate

Ms. James, who was a public defender, i.e., a lawyer who was paid not much out of government legal aid funds to represent people who couldn’t afford lawyers, seems to see her new elected role as not simply public advocate, but public attorney. Good for her and good for the rest of us.

Look what she’s been doing:

Several months ago, Letitia James, the New York City public advocate, stepped into a dispute between the city and eight low-income tenants threatened with eviction. Her office tried to broach a resolution, but ultimately decided that an escalation of tactics was required: She sued the city’s Department of Finance.

A month later, she sued the city Administration for Children’s Services, after questioning the treatment of children in foster care. This year alone, Ms. James has sued the city Department of Education twice, most recently last week over the lack of adequate air-conditioning on buses carrying mentally disabled children during the summer.

Midway through her second year in office, Ms. James, a former public defender, is using her experience and instincts to help define her role as public advocate. “There’s a slogan I use,” Ms. James said. “We legislate. We agitate. We litigate. And sometimes we negotiate.”

My bolding–and don’t you love it?

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