By David Brand
In a video message Monday, State Assemblymember Ron Kim announced his candidacy for New York City Public Advocate, a position vacated by State Attorney General-elect Letitia James.
Kim has advocated to eliminate student loan debt for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and has opposed corporate welfare. He has specifically attacked the $3 billion in subsidies that New York City and State will give to Amazon as part of a Long Island City corporate campus deal.
“While mega-corporations get billions in handouts and predatory financial companies saddle us with crippling debt, politicians never address the core problem: That our system prioritizes corporations over people,” Kim said in the video message. “Well here’s a bold idea: Let’s put people over corporations.”
Kim represents the 40th Assembly District, which includes Flushing, College Point and Whitestone. He was first elected to the assembly in 2012 and he serves as Vice-Chair of the Majority Conference of the New York State Assembly.
A special election to fill the vacant Public Advocate seat will take place in early 2019, though an official date has not been set. At least 13 people, including Kim, have announced their candidacy. All are Democrats except Queens Councilmember Eric Ulrich.
Not everyone is eager to fill the Public Advocate seat, however. City Councilmembers Ruben Diaz Sr., Mark Gjonaj, Robert Holden, Ritchie Torres and Kalman Yeger have signed onto a bill to eliminate the position.