Daniel Squadron Is The Loneliest Candidate

He's running for public advocate (it's the race without a sex scandal)

While a public advocate can introduce legislation, he or she is a non-voting member of the City Council. Squadron acknowledges that limitations. He says the job is about influencing legislative priorities and representing citizens bereft of lobbyists. He proposes dividing the office into four bureaus centered on children, housing, vulnerable citizens, and government accountability. "Housing is, in many ways, the existential issue for the city's future," he says.

Squadron, who grew up along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and lives in Carroll Gardens with his wife and son, wants to see the city prioritize housing for the next decade.

"The greatest thing about this city is that we have the strongest collection of diversity and energy and expertise anywhere in the world. That means people from around the world coming here to be part of the great engine of opportunity; it means people from around the country; it means people who are born here with fewer resources but still are able to get the opportunities offered—and it means people who can live anywhere in the world and chose to live here. If it's not all of that, we've lost it. And there's a real risk of that. The idea that it is inevitable that the city is going to change completely and we're not going to be a city that's diverse is absolutely unacceptable. It will mean we lose the city."

If elected public advocate, Daniel Squadron would be second in line to the mayor.
Caleb Ferguson
If elected public advocate, Daniel Squadron would be second in line to the mayor.

When talking about basic necessities—housing, work, transportation—Squadron skillfully mixes practical and poetic oration. But these days, most of his talking involves explaining to his fellow New Yorkers what office he's running for—and why it should continue to exist.

"The position of public advocate exists because in a city our size, which is really more like a large state or even a small nation, there are individual and community issues that inevitably get left out, that get left behind, that are overlooked. They are the orphans of the system."

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