About the Public Advocate
Gotbaum is your Public Advocate. She
was elected in November 2001, and inaugurated on City Hall steps
on January 1, 2002 . The Public Advocate is an independently elected
citywide official, next in line to the Mayor, who is your ombudswoman
to cut through government red tape.
Ombudswoman, or go-between, the Public Advocate answers complaints
about people's problems with city government, investigates ineffective
agencies and programs, proposes solutions that make government
more efficient, and helps communities gain better access to government.
Public Advocate is responsible for reporting the failure of any
City agency or official to comply with the New York City Charter.
The office also monitors the effectiveness of the City's public
information and education efforts about citywide initiatives.
Public Advocate presides at meetings of the City Council and is
a member of all Council committees. She also has the power to
Public Advocate is a member of the boards of trustees of the New
York City Employees Retirement System and the City's Audit Committee.
She is an ex-officio member of the boards of the Museum of the
City of New York and the Queens Borough Public Library. The Public
Advocate also appoints one member to the City Planning Commission,
the Citywide Council on Special Education and serves on the committee
to select the director of the Independent Budget Office.