Posted by: jonahlr | September 9, 2009

Norman in the Daily News

Great story about Norman in The Daily News today. It’s one of the best stories I’ve seen out there. I’ve put some excerpts below, but I really recommend reading the whole article, which you can do by clicking this link.

What job are these guys running for? Public Advocate or Mayor?

Siegel, 65, is the only candidate for the watchdog job who has said he won’t use it as a springboard to run for mayor.

He doesn’t even think the public advocate should remain as second in the line of succession.

It’s common to hear people in political circles opine that in the four-man field, Siegel wants the job of public advocate more than anyone else does.

Norman talks about the nature of the job:

“We will show, every day, how this office can really help people,” he says. “There’s nothing like this in America. There’s nothing like this in the world.”

A few words from a supporter:

Norman has been the people’s advocate his whole life,” raves Gail Paris, 61, who comes out one morning to help Siegel campaign at an upper West Side train stop.

Norman lays out his vision for the office:

Just imagine, says Siegel, the only candidate who’s never held public office, what he could do with a government staff instead of just his private law office.

“You could put together the best public interest operation in the world with people in New York. Having people who are idealistic and passionate and wanting to change the system, oh! what we could do every day. It would be amazing.”

For the full article, click here.

Posted by: jonahlr | September 9, 2009

From the Debate

“If you become the mayor, other than Norman, who would quit.”

– Mark Green

“Mark, it’s not about quitting, it’s about recognizing who you are and what your skills are. The skills for public advocate are different than the skills for mayor.”

– Norman Siegel

This is why we need to make Norman our next Public Advocate. He’s not interested in being our mayor. He’s not about politics. He’s an activist. He’s all about advocacy. And that’s why we ought to make him our next Public Advocate.

Posted by: jonahlr | September 9, 2009

If You Missed Tonight’s Debate…

If you weren’t able to catch tonight’s debate live on NY1, you can now watch it online by clicking this link.

It really was a great forum for Norman. He spoke with characteristic honesty about the issues at hand, once again proving why we need to make him our next Public Advocate.


Posted by: jonahlr | September 8, 2009

Big Debate Tonight

Big moment tonight in the race to become New York’s next Public Advocate, as Norman and his fellow candidates participate in the second and final Campaign Finance Board Debate. The 60-minute debate is being held at the WNYC Radio studios in Manhattan and will be moderated by NY1 Political anchor Dominic Carter. It will air live tonight on NY1 at 7pm.

Posted by: jonahlr | September 8, 2009

Great Video from the West Indian American Day Parade

Posted by: jonahlr | September 8, 2009

Good Times at the West Indian American Day Parade

It was a wonderful time yesterday at the West Indian American Day Parade. There were incredible costumes. Great food. Pulsating music. Enthusiastic spectators lining the streets. And lots of dancing from marchers and spectators alike.

And no one had more fun than famed civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel. Norman and his campaign crew danced through the streets. They handed out literature. Started loud chants. Demand More! Demand More!

In addition to his campaign crew, Norman was joined at the parade by his great friend and supporter State Senator Eric Adams and his group of supporters. It was a terrific duo. Norman and Eric really had a good time together, and the spectators were certainly happy to see the two. It really was a wonderful event. A smashing success to be sure.

Posted by: jonahlr | September 6, 2009

The West Indian Day Parade

Come join Norman this Monday as he marches in the West Indian Day Parade. As Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz put it, the West Indian Day Parade promises to be the largest parade the United States has ever seen. (Did you know, the parade usually draws between one million and three million spectators!) So, it should be a lot of fun. The parade is known for its vibrant costumes, dancing, music, and festive crowds, so don’t miss out, help support Norman while having a great time at the West Indian Day Parade!

We will begin gathering at Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway as early as 9:00 a.m. At 10:30am, Norman will be interviewed at the parade by Amsterdam News, and then we will begin marching at 11:00am. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at or call me at 914 – 912 – 9900. Hope to see you there!

Posted by: jonahlr | September 4, 2009

“The Only Democratic Candidate Who Truly Gets It”

The Brooklyn Paper endorsed Norman Siegel for Public Advocate today, and did a particularly good job of explaining why Norman is the obvious choice for the job.

The endorsement begins with an explanation of why none of the other candidates suffice, starting with Mark Green:

Green did a good job with the position for the eight years during which he held it, but he has approached the campaign with a feeling of entitlement that is at best unbecoming and at worst downright arrogant. Democratic voters should reject his has-been candidacy.

Then, the paper explains why they chose Siegel over both de Blasio and Gioia:

Meanwhile, DeBlasio and Gioia would bring an energy to the office that could use it after eight years under Betsy Gotbaum. Both are ambitious men who see the advocate job as a stepping stone to higher office.

But we don’t want a skilled lawmaker as the party’s standard-bearer for the position. We want an attack dog. Norman Siegel is that man.

They explain why Norman is that man:

As a longtime civil rights lawyer and head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Siegel has led principled fights whenever society runs the risk of being unjust: he’s fought an NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy that tends to only stop and frisk black teens; he’s battled police brutality and worked to create a truly independent Civilian Complaint Review Board; he went down South in the 1960s to win civil rights for millions; he’s unabashedly in favor of gay marriage; and he is a true proponent of free speech.

After discussing what he has specifically done for Brooklyn, they go on to say:

All the Democratic candidates talk about using the public advocate office to help the average Joe fight City Hall. But Siegel is the only one who has never been co-opted by having an office in the building. As such, he is the only one who constantly challenges the old orthodoxies that government insiders follow instinctively. If you watch him during our Community Newspaper Group-sponsored debate, which can be seen on the BoroPolitics Web site, you’ll see that he’s the only Democratic candidate who truly gets it.

Those were a few excerpts I took from the endorsement. If you would like to read the endorsement in full, please click this link. Thanks!

Posted by: jonahlr | September 3, 2009

Big Interview Tomorrow!

Norman has a big interview tomorrow with Brian Lehrer of WNYC Radio. Check it out tomorrow (Friday) from 11:25 to 11:45 in the morning on 93.9FM or AM 820.

And if you miss tomorrow’s show, Brian Lehrer’s show is re-aired Tuesdays through Saturdays at 1AM on AM 820.

Posted by: jonahlr | September 3, 2009

The Amsterdam News Endorses Norman Siegel!

Norman Siegel received a tremendous boost today. The Amsterdam News, the oldest continuously published black newspaper in the country, has endorsed Norman Siegel for Public Advocate. Here’s the text of that endorsement:

The public advocate is a position that is supposed to be the ombudsman for the people of New York to their government. The city charter states in section 24g, “The public advocate shall establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, responding to complaints, conducting investigations and reporting findings, and shall inform the public about such procedures.” The office is responsible for dealing with many of the 311 calls the city gets each day.

There are five candidates that are running for this position in the Democratic primary. Four of those five are good men who could bring a lot to the position (we do not feel that Mark Green is an appropriate candidate). Each have a great dedication to New York and want to make it a great place for everyone and their families to live in and grow. Even though lacking political power that it had years ago, it still is the city’s watchdog for the mayor and other city government agencies. What makes this position unique is that it is the people’s position. It is the one office in government that represents the people against government.

Norman Siegel has run for this office before. He has run before and is running again because he feels that the people of the city need an independent voice that will speak for them. As the head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, he spoke for the voiceless and often powerless. He has been a champion of rights throughout his career. He has fought City Hall, struggled for improved community-police relations and pushed for greater accountability on the part of the NYPD. He has advocated and represented 9/11 families, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign and Firefighters Families, the Transit Workers Union and the United Federation of Teachers in FIRST Amendment lawsuits, in addition to African-American and Latino police officers in a racial discrimination lawsuit against NYC, as well as New Yorkers against the extension of term limits. He is a man of the people and that is why the New York Amsterdam News endorses Siegel for public advocate for the City of New York.

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