Reshma Saujani’s campaign for public advocate is getting a boost from Silicon Valley, with contributions from some of high-tech’s biggest names.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is among the contributors who will appear in filings the campaign expects to file today with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Grammy-award winner John Legend also chipped in.
It’s not a surprise, but it’s a key part of Reshma Saujani’s strategy as she campaigns for public advocate this year.
The Alliance of South Asian-American Labor, a group that’s worked to mobilize South Asian voters in past elections, officially threw their support to Ms. Saujani today, vowing to help elect her as the city’s first official of South Asian descent.
Later this morning, Reshma Saujani will officially launch her public advocate campaign, an ambitious bid for one of two competitive citywide races this year. But as she lays out her agenda, it won’t be the same Reshma Saujani politicos remember from her 2010 primary against Upper East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. In that campaign, she embraced her “Pro-Wall Street Democrat” label, but now, Ms. Saujani says she’s focused on a whole new slate of issues.
“Oh my God, so much!” she told Politicker when asked if she’s learned from her experiences since then, including a stint in the public advocate’s office. “Since 2010, I have a record–a progressive record–of accomplishment. There are people in the city who I have helped put on a path of economic prosperity, that are in college because I fought for them. There are people in jobs because I fought for them … In 2010, that was harder to demonstrate, right? Because I was working as a lawyer in the private sector.”
Bigger Than Hip Hop
Himanshu “Heems” Suri, one of the members of the rap group Das Racist, has a preferred candidate to replace Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: Reshma Saujani. Mr. Suri tweeted about his support over the weekend, and writing to Politicker in an email yesterday, Mr. Suri elaborated by arguing that Ms. Saujani’s candidacy will help the South Asian community find its political voice.
“She has raised over a million dollars for this race and will be a very well resourced candidate,” he explained. “She will be investing more into South Asian turnout than anyone ever has. … We will probably have the highest South Asian voter turnout ever this year because of her on the ballot and the resources she will be putting in it. This is the most qualified and well resourced candidate from the community ever.”
Councilwoman Tish James, who’s currently running for public advocate, will be doing some cable news punditry this weekend. Tomorrow morning, Ms. James will appear on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes to discuss her agenda and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban.
State Senator Daniel Squadron announced today that he’s raised more than $2 million in his race for public advocate. Mr. Squadron, who’s facing three other candidates in a Democratic primary, hauled in a total of $2,150,000 in donations and expected public matching funds. He raised $183,000 in the last two months and has spent only $190,000 overall. Read More
The Race is On
“This is not a Pollyanna conversation. With all due respect, Reshma, you’re wrong.”
It was one of the few sparks in an otherwise genial forum for the five Public Advocate candidates, and it came, not so surprisingly, from Cathy Guerriero. Ms. Guerriero, along with Brooklyn and Manhattan State Sen. Dan Squadron, Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James, former Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani and education advocate Noah Gotbaum, spoke aggressively at the first forum of the year in the wide open Public Advocate race.
'dim sum for daniel'
When it comes to replacing outgoing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand doesn’t have a favorite, but that doesn’t mean she lacks any political love to share around. Accordingly, Ms. Gillibrand is set to appear at fundraisers for all three of the leading Democratic candidates for the position: Councilwoman Tish James, former congressional candidate Reshma Saujani and State Senator Dan Squadron. The fundraisers for Ms. James and Ms. Saujani had already been rolled out, while Mr. Squadron’s campaign announced their own event earlier this afternoon.
“One of my favorite weekend activities with my wife and 20-month-old son is having dim sum in Chinatown,” Mr. Squadron wrote in an email to his supporters.
Reshma Saujani dispelled any speculation about her intentions next year with an email to supporters asking them to be “early adopters” of her 2013 campaign for public advocate.
“You know me. I am a disrupter, a political entrepreneur, someone who not only believes in public-private partnerships but actually knows how to build them,” she writes. ”We know that the future of government is action-orientated leadership. People who simply get things done. New voices and new ideas. Leaders who will open up the doors far and wide, so that everyone can be an advocate.”
Ms. Saujani first came to prominence during her 2010 campaign for Congress against Carolyn Maloney– a race she ended up losing by 60 points despite the support of an number of big-ticket donors. She went on to work in the office of the man she hopes to replace–Bill de Blasio, serving as a deputy public advocate of New York City and the executive director of the Fund for Public Advocacy.
Reshma Saujani, a former aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, has formally registered a campaign committee that would allow her to campaign for Mr. de Blasio’s own position in 2013. Mr. de Blasio is expected to run for mayor, leaving the citywide position vacant for aspiring politicians.
Although the committee doesn’t specify exactly what office she is seeking, it’s been widely reported she’s most interested in the Public Advocate’s Office.