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Public advocate post: Great title, little power

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In New York City government, the Office of the Public Advocate has a terrific title and little power.

But whatever its public worth, the post is showing its value these days as a platform for the ambitious.

The public advocate officially plays the role of ombudsman, or watchdog. The advocate can introduce Council bills and has a few appointments in city planning, the budget and pension funds. More importantly, the advocate steps into any sudden mayoral vacancy, if only until a special election can be held for the top job.


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