Letitia James - Profile and Agenda

Goals

To develop a professional biography for Letitia James, the NY Attorney General, which will include details on 1) any political mentors and influences; 2) key endorsements received from special interest groups; 3) any scholars discussing her or whom she often references; and 4) overviews of public remarks on opioids and student lending. Additionally, it is desired to build an overview of the 2020 AG agenda paying specific attention to those areas outside New York City.

Early Findings

Letitia James, the current Attorney General for the state of New York, is the first African American woman elected to the seat in history. She was elected in 2018, as a Democrat, and her term expires on January 1, 2023.

Biographical Facts

  • Letitia James received her bachelor's degree from the City University of New York and went on to attain a J.D. from Howard University. She also received an additional degree from Lehman University.
  • She was born and still makes her home in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Ms. James professional resume includes: Head, Brooklyn Regional Office of the New York State Attorney Generals Office; Former Public Advocate, City of New York; and Former Public Defender, Legal Aid Society.
  • Prior to being elected state Attorney General, James' political experience includes the following: Former Member, 35th District, Brooklyn, New York City Council; and Former Member, New York City Council, District 35.
  • One of the major themes during her 2018 campaign for Attorney General was to mitigate Wall Street abuses. The campaign quoted her as follows, "As Attorney General, I will have both the power and the responsibility to prosecute financial fraud that harms consumers and investors. I will: 1) Utilize the broad powers of the Martin Act to pursue investigations that protect shareholders and investors, including workers’ pension funds and savings; 2) Vigorously investigate fraudulent business practices by strengthening the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau; 3) Investigate and pursue actions into discriminatory and abusive payday lending, mortgage lending abuse, for-profit college student loans; and 4) Scrutinize practices and industries that have benefited from deregulation under the Trump Administration, and those that are currently posing a significant threat to our economy."
  • According to a December 2019 interview, James names former NY Attorney General Bob Abrams as one of her primary mentors though was clear to state that she does not speak with either Eliot Spitzer or Eric Schneiderman, both of whom she served under.
  • She also spends some time mentoring (as a co-teacher) at SUNY Empire State College working with students from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 to help them learn about the "Constitution (and) how it relates to the labor movement and the relevance in their lives."

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