Letitia James started off her tenure as public advocate Wednesday by going after former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies and vowing to do a better job for New York City’s working class.
James took the oath of office with former Mayor David Dinkins and Dasani Coates, the 12-year-old homeless girl from Brooklyn who was the subject of a series of investigative articles by The New York Times that looked at the city’s declining quality of homeless shelters.
James, the city’s fourth public advocate and the first black woman to hold a citywide office in the Big Apple, called Dasani her “bff” and vowed to prevent her and low-income New Yorkers from falling through the cracks.
“You better believe Dasani and I will stand up. That all of us will stand up and call out anyone and anything that stands in the way of our promise,” she said.
James spent much of her speech talking about the growth of inequalities, stating the city focused more on stadiums and luxury condos than jobs and quality of life. “The growing gaps between the haves and have-nots undermines our city,” she said.
Bloomberg was stone-faced during the speech but joined in the applause when she finished.