Letitia “Tish” James has put in decades of work for her community to now serve as the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York. In earning this position, she has also come to be known as the first African-American to be elected Attorney General.
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Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Letitia graduated from Lehman College and went on to further her studies at Howard University School of Law. She began her career in law as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society and has since gone on to make tremendous strides advocating for the public and implementing the law to fight for all New Yorkers.
Serving as the head of the Brooklyn Regional Office of the NYS Attorney General’s Office she investigated predatory businesses and assisted the Civil Rights Bureau’s investigation of the NYPD stop-and-frisk policy. From there, Letitia went on to become a Council Member of the 35th Council District in Brooklyn for ten years. During this time, she passed the Safe Housing Act, helped to expose costly corruption, and implemented an innovative and expanding recycling program.
After several achievements as a Council Member, Letitia still had the drive to do more and thus was elected Public Advocate for the City of New York in 2013, making her the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York. As Public Advocate she transformed the office to be one of change which pushed them to handle over 32,000 complaints and pass more legislation than all former Public Advocates combined. As Public Advocate she fought against the gun industry and supported children and families in issues such as foster care and disabilities, as well as passing a revolutionary law to ban questions about past salaries in a fight to amend the gender wage gap. These achievements allowed Letitia to be elected for a second term as Public Advocate in November 2017.
Utilizing her positions of power and her ambition to better New York State, Letitia has made several great achievements and continues to fight for all New Yorkers. We are proud to highlight her as our Black Woman Rising!
By: Nialani Pringle