NewsElections 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, left, announced her plans to run for public advocate on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang By Ivan Pereira email@example.com @IvanPer4 Updated November 27, 2018 8:29 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email 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. By Ivan Pereira firstname.lastname@example.org @IvanPer4 Ivan has been a staff reporter with amNewYork since May 2012 and covers breaking news, politics and enterprise stories. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic What does the public advocate actually do?Some politicians have argued the office of public advocate is unnecessary. Officials worry BOE can't handle public advocate voteThe BOE executive director showed a "lack of understanding," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. Bill would eliminate public advocate positionCity Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. said he doesn't believe the office is "necessary." City to hold public advocate special electionAfter James is sworn in as attorney general, the mayor must set the election date. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.