Could the city’s Public Advocate Jumaane Williams be taking a page out of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s playbook – only while the mayor is busy running around the country in his presidential bid, Williams is running around the state perhaps with an eye on the governor’s mansion?
Either way, since his election, Willaims has been all across the state and kept to his promise of “not being afraid to get arrested” for fighting for justice.
Just last week, he was arrested in Albany during a HousingJustice4All protest outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Hours after his arrest he took to social media to address the issues related to tenants rights.
“Bad landlords are spreading, and finding new tenants to take advantage of in the Hudson Valley and beyond,” posted Williams on Twitter. “Today I heard stories of Kingston tenants being harmed and neglected, in need of relief. We need #UniversalRentControl across the state, and across the state we’re united.”
During his time in upstate New York fighting for tenants rights, he toured New Paltz, Albany, Kingston, Buffalo and Syracuse.
“The need for affordable housing, for tenant protections, for strong rent laws, is not an upstate or downstate issue. From Brooklyn to Buffalo, tenants are crying out for reform and relief,” said Williams while on the tour. “I’ve been a tenant organizer and housing advocate for decades, and I’m glad to join the advocates who have worked tirelessly for months and years pushing for change around New York in calling on Albany to get it done for New Yorkers and deliver housing justice for all.”
Robert Hunter, a political campaigner of over 30 years, believes that Williams might be vying for a different role a bit closer to his Brooklyn home.
“I think that he might run for mayor,” said Hunter.
Hunter wouldn’t be surprised if Williams ran for mayor sooner rather than later, despite the public advocate assuming his current role in March.
“His name is out there,” said Hunter. “People vote on name recognition.”
Williams wouldn’t be the only person throwing his hat into the race, according to Hunter, who has heard of other elected officials possibly considering a run for mayor.
“I’m 90 percent sure [city Comptroller] Scott Stringer is going to run,” said Hunter. “I also think the Bronx Borough President [Ruben Diaz] is going to run.”
One official that no one needs to speculate on is Speaker Corey Johnson, who announced in January that he is exploring a mayoral bid for 2021.
The primary for mayor is June 2021. The governor’s race isn’t until 2022.