FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2013
CONTACT: James Lane at VoteJamesLane@gmail.com, 917-865-2591
Public Advocate Candidate James Lane Calls for Five Debates With James
Vows to Restore Advocate's Role as Aggressive Watchdog over the Next Mayor
James Lane, the Green Party candidate for Public Advocate, kicked off the general election campaign by calling for at least five public debates with Tish James and his other opponents.
Lane said that unlike the incumbent, Bill de Blasio, he would be an aggressive watchdog for city residents on a wide range of issues, including: community control of the police department; increased community oversight of public schools; combating wage theft that costs low-income workers more than a billion dollars a year; improving the performance and lowering the rates of the MTA, Con Ed and Time Warner; improving the city's food system; enforcing rent control and housing codes; and protecting community gardens.
A personal issue that Lane will focus his candidacy on is adoptee rights.
“My fight for justice runs deep, which is why we are gathered here today across the street from where my social justice activism formally began back in 1989. I was denied access to seeing my original birth certificate after learning that I was adopted at the age of 2, but was not made aware of this until I was 23 years old after both of my adoptive parents had died.” Lane said.
“Well, I am 25 years older now, and I am happy to announce that I was fortunate enough to reunite with my mother, 2 half sisters, aunts and other family members earlier this year, but this happiness comes with a huge feeling of survivors guilt as there are millions of other adult adoptees that are going to the grave without knowing their origins and that is not right.” Lane continued, “So I am here today to announce that as the Green Party candidate for Public Advocate I will fight to make serious changes in our New York City government so that adult adoptees may be allowed their basic human right of gaining access to their original birth certificates, just like any other citizen.”
Lane is a homeowner in Park Slope in Brooklyn where he lives with his wife and son.
Lane promised to turn the Public Advocates office into the aggressive consumer and political watchdog that the City Charter envisions. Lane stated that he felt that de Blasio had been far too passive with the position, appearing to be more interested in plotting his run for Mayor than providing needed oversight to Mayor Bloomberg and his administration while it gentrified the City.
Lane said that he was worried that the close political relationship between Tish James and Bill De Blasio would undercut the effectiveness of the position if both were elected.
He hoped that if de Blasio is elected as Mayor, that he would be willing to restore funding to the office closer to the level that existed when Mark Green first held the position. It is unfortunate that $13 million was spent on the runoff election rather than having used the IRV system long advocated by the Lane and Green Party. The Greens worked with Senator Liz Krueger to introduce legislation more than ten years ago to institute IRV for local elections throughout the state including the city's primary runoff system.
As a member of the Green Party, Lane said he would pursue a strong environmental agenda. The Green Party has been working with City Council members to restrict the use of plastic bags, and to ban the use of Styrofoam in schools and restaurants. They have opposed the push by Mayor Bloomberg and City councilmember Tish James (chair of the Solid Waste Committee) to promote garbage incineration; Lane supports a Zero Waste approach, including curbside pickup of food and yard waste.
"I will be a vocal advocate in the fight to deal with climate change. The city needs to provide national leadership to force both parties to take action to curb greenhouse emissions while at the local level immediately transitioning to clean renewable energy and protecting our infrastructure from rising waters. The Bloomberg administration was as bad as New Orleans in abandoning so many low-income and public housing residents after Hurricane Sandy. As Public Advocate I will make sure that their voices are heard," added Lane.
Lane said he supported the push by climate change activists to divest the City's pension funds from fossil fuels. As public advocate he will be one of the trustees of the pension funds.
Lane said while he agreed with Bill de Blasio about the need to address the shocking income inequality in the City, he would go much further in pushing for solutions. Lane said he would advocate for state legislation to establish a higher minimum wage for all city residents as Seattle and San Francisco have done. The city's existing living wage and sick leave laws must be strengthened, and the city should use all its powers (zoning, subsidies) to improve wages and working conditions for employees.
Lane said that the next HRA Commissioner must support helping low-income New Yorkers and ensure that they receive the benefits, education and job training they need. He said that city should invest in a massive WPA-style public jobs program to provide living wage jobs to all city residents who need them. He would demand that the State return to the city coffers the $14 billion it collects annually from the existing Stock Transfer Tax rather than rebating it to Wall Street speculators as it presently done.
For additional information please contact: James Lane at VoteJamesLane@gmail.com, 917-865-2591