Jumaane Williams has a long history of progressive, on-the-ground activism, addressing issues such as public safety and policing, gun violence and immigration, tenant harassment
Is Councilmember Jumaane Williams considering a move to Albany? Reports already circulated last year that he may be eyeing the governor’s seat. On Monday, at a Martin Luther King Celebration at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Flatbush, Williams officially announced that he is readying himself to run for Lieutenant Governor of New York.
“Do what you can with what you have wherever you are. That is the legacy of Dr. King. I take this very seriously. I try to do the best I can in the New York City Council and I feel it is time to do even more,” said Williams who represents the 45th District. “Today I’m announcing that I’m forming an exploratory committee towards the possibility of running for the office of Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York.”
If Williams indeed decides to run, he will be challenging incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul who serves as the second in command under Governor Cuomo.
Elected to the City Council in 2009, Williams has a long history of progressive, on-the-ground activism. He has been a vocal and critical voice for his constituents, addressing issues such as public safety and policing, gun violence and immigration. He was an early critic of stop-and-frisk policing and sponsored the Community Safety Act, which created the Office of Inspector General for the New York Police Department, as well as the Fair Chance Act, which bans employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history. As chair of the council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings he has successfully implemented legislation against tenant harassment.
In his impassionate speech on Monday, Williams emphasized his desire to push forward, citing the need for more progressive policies and diversity on all levels of government.
“We also need diversity in government. To have a government that represents all the people,” said Williams. “That lack of diversity means many of us are not represented in the highest offices of government in the State of New York.”
And he added: “We now live in a time of challenge and controversy. It’s even more important now to see where all of our leaders stand. People know that when there is something happening, I want to be on the ground to lend my voice.”
Williams is currently serving his third term as Coucilmember; if his bid for Lieutenant Governor is successful, a special election would be required to elect to his replacement.