Category Archives: Ben Yee

Public Advocate Special Election Photo Retrospective



An election with 17 candidates, after 31 aspirants expressed interest and campaigned, and a comparatively short three months of campaigning.  Triggered by Tish James’s November election as New York State attorney general and resulting resignation as public advocate, the public advocate special election was, for New York, a unique electoral experience.  Held with an unprecedented number of candidates and the absence of established party designations or nominations it was New York City’s first citywide special election.  Candidate forums were the predominant public campaign activity, with several dozen held around the city by a wide range of civic and political groups.  Our gallery has moments from the start to finish – take a look.

Photo Gallery:

Our full public advocate special election photo retrospective gallery is available here.

Additional Galleries:

We have a gallery of group portraits from many of the candidate forums here.

We have a gallery with photos of candidates with family members here.

Photo Gallery: NAN Candidate Forum



The National Action Network hosted a public advocate candidate forum, drawing 12 candidates to its House of Justice in Harlem.  The Rev. Al Sharpton made opening remarks and introduced the candidates but did not moderate or attend the forum.  Candidates participating included Ydanis Rodriguez, Ben Yee, Jumaane Williams, Manny Alicandro, David Eisenbach, Tony Herbert, Nomiki Konst, Dawn Smalls, Ron Kim, Danny O’Donnell, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Michael Blake.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Co-op City Candidate Forum



The Co-op City Working Families Party hosted a public advocate candidate forum, drawing nine candidates.  Dawn Smalls, Eric Ulrich and Manny Alicandro participated in the first panel discussion (which I did not attend), Ron Kim, Ben Yee, David Eisenbach, Rafael Espinal and Jumaane Williams participated in a second panel and Michael Blake was interviewed solo by moderator Ray Raimunidi.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Bath Beach Candidate Forum



The United Progressive Democratic Club, led by Assembly Member William Colton, hosted a public advocate candidate forum at its Bath Beach headquarters.  Candidates participating included Jared Rich, Ben Yee, David Eisenbach, Rafael Espinal and Jumaane Williams.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: LIC Candidate Forum



Five local civic groups, Hearts Across Queens, Hunters Point Civic Association, Long Island City Coalition, PrimedOutNYC and Sunnyside Woodside Action Group, hosted a public advocate candidate forum at the Irish Center in Long Island City.  Candidates participating included Ben Yee, Danny O’Donnell, David Eisenbach, Dawn Smalls, Jumaane Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Michael Blake, Nomiki Konst, Rafael Espinal and Ron Kim.  Ify Ike, previously a candidate but unsuccessful in getting on the February 26th ballot, also participated.  Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who previously endorsed Jumaane Williams, was the only non-candidate elected official to attend.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Medgar Evers PA Candidate Forum



Nine candidates attended a public advocate forum at Medgar Evers College sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Arena Summit and the Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter of Delta Rho Omega. Candidates included Dawn Smalls, Ben Yee, Jared Rich, Tony Herbert, Michael Blake, Ydanis Rodriguez, Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich and Jumaane Williams.

One of the three candidate panels was the complete set of current City Council members running for public advocate: Eric Ulrich, Rafael Espinal, Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: VIDA PA Candidate Forum



The Vanguard Independent Democratic Association drew eight public advocate candidates to a forum at Boys & Girls High School in Bed-Stuy.  Participating candidates included Ben Yee, Nomiki Konst, Dawn Smalls, Michael Blake, Jared Rich, Tony Herbert, Rafael Espinal and Jumaane Williams.  The forum was moderated by Esmeralda Simmons and Brian Vines.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Downtown Dem Clubs PA Forum



A group of downtown Manhattan Democratic Clubs jointly sponsored a public advocate candidate forum at the Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center on East Broadway.  The Grand Street Democrats and several other Clubs co-sponsored the forum.

The forum drew 13 candidates who appeared in three panels before an audience of approximately 150 people: Panel #1 – Melissa Mark-Viverito, Eric Ulrich, Dawn Smalls and Rafael Espinal, Panel #2 – Ydanis Rodriguez, Ben Yee, Ron Kim, Jumaane Williams and Nomiki Konst and Panel #3 – Manny Alicandro, David Eisenbach, Tony Herbert and Jared Rich.

Clubs and organizations sponsoring the forum included Downtown Independent Democrats, Henry Street Settlement, United Democratic Organization, Coalition for a District Alternative, Village Independent Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club, Chinese American Planning Council, United Neighborhood Houses, New Downtown Democrats, University Settlement, Grand Street Settlement and OCA-New York.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Jackson Heights PA Forum



Nine candidates attended a public advocate candidate forum at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights sponsored by the New Visions Democratic Club, the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens and the  John F. Kennedy Democratic Club.  Participating candidates included David Eisenbach, Michael Blake, Jared Rich, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rafael Espinal, Tony Herbert, Jumaane Williams, Ben Yee and Dawn Smalls.  Council Member Danny Dromm was the sole elected official to attend.  Dromm said that he has not endorsed a candidate in the special election and is uncertain whether he’ll do so.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Public Advocate Candidate Photo Gallery: Ballot Edition



Who are they?  Here’s a photo gallery of the public advocate candidates to help you get to know them.  We published an early photo gallery featuring 21 prospective candidates, and the group later rose to 31. We’ve ended up with a reduced, though still quite large, field of 17.

The Board of Elections set the final ballot at a hearing Tuesday, ruling on the validity of several candidates contested petitions.  17 candidates were approved and will be on the ballot, although not all willingly.   Assembly Member Latrice Walker’s campaign attorney said that despite having submitted sufficient petitions and qualifying for the ballot Walker does not intend to campaign and unsuccessfully sought to have her removed from the ballot.  We’ve included Walker in our photo gallery.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Continue reading Public Advocate Candidate Photo Gallery: Ballot Edition

Photo Gallery: GMHC PA Candidate Forum



Eleven candidates, ten of whom expect to be on the February 26th special election ballot, joined a forum focused on health issues including HIV/AIDS prevention and education, substance use, mental health, LGBT rights, and discrimination.  Sponsored by GMHC and hosted by the New School, the forum was moderated by NY1 reporter Grace Rauh and featured candidates Theo Chino, David Eisenbach, Nomiki Konst, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jared Rich, Dawn Smalls, Jumaane Williams and Ben Yee. Rafael Espinal participated in much of the forum, departing before it concluded, and Latrice Walker joined for the last few minutes.  Daniel Christmann also participated; he’s a self-described candidate but did not submit petitions to the Board of Elections and will not appear on the February 26th ballot.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Fresh Meadows Forum



The Saul Weprin Democratic Club and 13 of its fellow Queens Democratic clubs hosted a public advocate candidate forum in Fresh Meadows, drawing nine candidates.  Moderated by Saul Weprin Club President Anthony Lemma, the forum featured appearances by Dawn Smalls, Ben Yee, Danny O’Donnell, David Eisenbach, Latrice Walker, Michael Blake, Rafael Espinal, Ron Kim and Ydanis Rodriguez.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Sustainability Public Advocate Candidate Forum



Fourteen public advocate candidates participated in a forum at Brooklyn Law School focused on sustainability and the environment.  Moderated by Politico reporter Gloria Pazmino and sponsored by the New York League of Conservation Voters, the forum was the first to focus on sustainability.  Candidates participating included Ben Yee, David Eisenbach, Dawn Smalls, Eric Ulrich, Ify Ike, Jared Rich, Jumaane Williams, Latrice Walker, Michael Blake, Mike Zumbluskas, Nomiki Konst, Rafael Espinal, Walter Iwachiw and Ydanis Rodriguez.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.