Category Archives: Rafael Espinal

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.

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Photo Gallery: King Day at the House of Justice



The Rev. Al Sharpton drew  a large contingent of elected officials to his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at National Action Network’s House of Justice.  Headliners included U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney.  NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker and Acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke.

Several of the public advocate candidates participated, including Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell, Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dawn Smalls.  Walker, Blake, O’Donnell and Smalls were given speaking slots.  Former mayor David Dinkins and former congressman Charles Rangel appeared, sitting onstage in the front row for the full program.

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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.

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Photo Gallery: Liberal Party Endorses Espinal



The Liberal Party endorsed Rafael Espinal for public advocate, with executive director Martin Hassner joining Espinal for a brief press conference outside of the public advocate’s office in the Municipal Building Wednesday.

The Liberal Party is a dramatically smaller force in New York politics since losing its ballot line in 2002, a bitter fate suffered not long after its modern zenith in the 1993 election of Rudy Giuliani.  The endorsement is nonetheless a positive for Espinal, although it’s unclear how substantial an effort the Liberal Party is able to mount in support of his candidacy.

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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.

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Photo Gallery: East Side Dem Club PA Forum



A large group of East Side Democratic clubs hosted a public advocate candidate forum Thursday night, drawing 13 aspiring advocates and an audience of 150-200 people to the New York New Church on East 35th Street.

Candidates participating included Ify Ike, Nomiki Konst, Dawn Smalls, Rafael Espinal, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Danny O’Donnell, Latrice Walker, Jumaane Williams, Michael Blake, Ben Yee, Ron Kim, David Eisenbach and Theo Chino.  Gwen Goodwin attended part of the forum and was introduced by the moderators, but did not participate or address the audience.  Sponsoring clubs included the Eleanor Roosevelt Club, Four Freedoms Club, Tilden Democrats, GSID, East River Democrats, Village Independent Democrats, Chelsea Democrats and Manhattan Young Democrats.

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Photo Gallery: Brooklyn Heights Public Advocate Candidate Forum



16 candidates attended a public advocate candidate forum hosted by the New Kings Democrats in Brooklyn Heights.  Moderated by Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max and Daily News editorial board member Alyssa Katz, the forum featured the following candidates in four separate panels:  panel #1 – Gwen Goodwin, Rafael Espinal, Dawn Smalls and Theo Chino, panel #2 – Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mike Zumbluskas, Tony Herbert and David Eisenbach, panel #3 – Daniel Christmann, Jumaane Williams, Ron Kim and Michael Blake and panel #4 – Nomiki Konst, Latrice Walker, Ify Ike and Ben Yee.

Held in Brooklyn Heights’ First Unitarian Congregational Society the forum drew an audience of approximately 200.  Several Brooklyn Democratic organizations held endorsement meetings immediately afterward, with the New Kings Democrats and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats announcing endorsements of Council Member Jumaane Williams.

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Photo Gallery: Sojourner Truth Public Advocate Forum



The Sojourner Truth Democratic Club and the NYC Black and Latino LGBTQ Coalition co-hosted a public advocate candidate forum, drawing 13 candidates to the Fifth Avenue Social Adult Day Center at 112th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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Photo Gallery: Bay Ridge Dems Public Advocate Forum



The Bay Ridge Democrats hosted a public advocate candidate forum, drawing a steady stream of aspiring advocates eager to pitch the vibrant club for its support.  The Bay Ridge Democrats were part of two significant electoral victories in November, with Democrat Andrew Gounardes unseating incumbent Republican NYS Senator Marty Golden and Democrat Max Rose defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Donovan.

Public advocate candidates appearing included Rafael Espinal, Danny O’Donnell, Michael Blake and David Eisenbach.  (Other candidates appeared before I arrived.)  Many of the candidates had participated in an earlier forum at Wagner College.

Bay Ridge Democrats President Chris McCreight said that the Club plans to endorse a candidate at its January 10th meeting.

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Photo Gallery: Public Advocate Forum at Wagner College



The Arena and Staten Island Women Who March hosted the first Staten Island public advocate candidate forum, drawing 10 candidates to Wagner College.  The candidates appeared in two separate panels, with Melissa Mark-Viverito, Theo Chino, Dawn Smalls and Mike Zumbluskas on the first and Danny O’Donnell, Rafael Espinal, Ify Ike, Michael Blake and Ben Yee on the second.  Jumaane Williams, scheduled to be on the first panel, arrived during the second panel and was given a few minutes at the end of the forum to speak.

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Photo Gallery: Upper West Side Candidate Forum



13 professed candidates for public advocate appeared at a forum hosted by the Upper West Side’s Community Free Democrats Thursday night.  Ify Ike, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, David Eisenbach, Assembly Members Michael Blake, Danny O’Donnell and Latrice Walker, Theo Chino, Nomiki Konst, Ben Yee, Dawn Smalls and former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had several minutes to address the audience and then field audience questions.  Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal moderated the forum.

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Photo Gallery: Ben Franklin Candidate Forum



The Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club brought the rapidly building race for public advocate to the American mainland Wednesday, drawing 12 advocate aspirants to Riverdale for a candidate forum.  Candidates participating were Assembly Members Michael Blake, Latrice Walker and Danny O’Donnell, Dawn Smalls, Theo Chino, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, Nomiki Konst, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ify Ike and Tony Herbert.

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Public Advocate Candidates In Pictures



It’s a challenge to keep track of the multiple candidates running or considering running for public advocate.  To help you do that we’ve set up a photo gallery, a book of faces perhaps, of the 21 candidates known to us.  Our full photo gallery is available here.

Current public advocate Letitia James is expected to resign on or before December 31st so that she can take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st.  The City Charter provides that when James resigns the mayor is to, within three days, set the date for a special election.   These prospective candidates will then have a short period to legally become candidates for the vacancy by petitioning their way on to the special election ballot.