Amazon is the new Trump in first official public advocate debate

NYC public advocate debate pool photo
NYC public advocate debate pool photo
Holly Pickett for The New York Times/pool photo
The Feb. 6 New York City public advocate debate.

Amazon is the new Trump in first official public advocate debate

Ten contenders squared off. We live-tweeted it. Here are the highlights.
February 6, 2019

After Wednesday night’s first debate for Feb. 26 public advocate special election one thing became clear: Amazon is the new Trump.

Yes, the multibillion-dollar company planning to build a new office complex in Long Island City was a major topic of the debate, with all of the candidates criticizing the process to various degrees and criticizing each other for their varying levels of support or opposition. The tech giant seemed to dominate the conversation in the way that the topic of Donald Trump’s presidency has dominated previous debates for citywide office in New York City.

The discussion also turned to such hot-button issues as congestion pricing, the entrance exam for the city’s specialized high schools and the poor living conditions for New York City Housing Authority residents, even though the public advocate has a limited ability to address such matters.

As the 10 candidates (out of 17) who qualified for the debate jostled for attention in the crowded field, City & State reporter Jeff Coltin tweeted out some of the highlights.

You can read more about William’s stance on same-sex marriage and abortion in this 2017 Gay City News article.

Espinal mentioned writer James Baldwin and the TV show “Mad Men.”

One thing is for sure: Anti-Amazon activists like Seth Pollack were happy with the debate.

Jeff Coltin
is a staff reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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