Office of the Public Advocate
Betsy Gotbaum

The Public Advocate Staff


About the Public Advocate

Betsy 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.

As 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.

The 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.

The Public Advocate presides at meetings of the City Council and is a member of all Council committees. She also has the power to introduce legislation.

The 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.


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Office of Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum



The Public Advocate's Office • 1 Centre Street, 15th Floor • New York, NY 10007 • General Inquiries: (212) 669-7200
Ombudsman Services: (212) 669-7250 • Fax: (212) 669-4091