BACKGROUND: Williams, 46, first won elected office in 2009, upsetting a New York City Council incumbent with the help of the Working Families Party, a labor-backed party that has sought to push Democrats in a more progressive direction. He served on the council for 10 years He was a supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2018, he ran in a Democratic primary against Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, garnering 47% of the vote. In 2019, he won a special election to become New York City public advocate. He earned a bachelorâ€™s and a masterâ€™s degree from Brooklyn College. As a child, he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and has been advocate for people living with the condition.
ISSUES: Williams is the most liberal candidate in the Democratic primary. He supports creating more affordable housing units, expanding rent control and making evictions tougher. He opposes the â€śDefund the Policeâ€ť movement but says expanding social services, job training and mental health services would help decrease crime. He says the $850 million subsidy the state provided for the Buffalo Bills new stadium should have been shifted to gun-violence prevention programs.
He supports single-payer health care and a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining. He supports expanding voting rights to noncitizens and expand legal services for undocumented immigrants. He supports term limits for elected state officials.
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