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Melissa Mark-Viverito running for NYC public advocate

Mark-Viverito served on the City Council from 2005 to 2018.

Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito,

Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, left, announced her plans to run for public advocate on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Melissa Mark-Viverito is looking to get back into city public office.

The former City Council speaker announced Tuesday that she plans to run in next year's special election for public advocate. Mark-Viverito, who first announced her bid on "Mornings on 1," will kick off her campaign with an evening event at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

She has said she would hold city and state leaders accountable over the state of the city's transit system, ongoing problems at New York City Housing Authority developments and issues of inequality, as public advocate.

"My vision of governance in general is to be inclusive," she told amNewYork. "We want to engage in a conversation on how they want this office to work with them and how government can do better to serve them."

Mark-Viverito was elected to the City Council in 2005 and named speaker in 2014, making her the first Latina elected to the position. She was term-limited in 2018. 

Mark-Viverito joins a crowd of candidates who are all looking to succeed Public Advocate Letitia James, who will step down in January to assume her new role as state attorney general. Council members Jumaane Williams, Eric Ulrich, and Rafael Espinal and Assembly members Michael Blake and Daniel O’Donnell are among those who have declared their candidacy. All except Ulrich are Democrats, as is Mark-Viverito. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce a special election to fill James' vacancy early next year.

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