Norman Siegel

Candidate for Public Advocate
Citywide Office

Norman Siegel, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union from 1985 to 2000 and now an attorney in private practice, has been one of the most effective advocates for New Yorkers for the last 30 years.

He is a truly invaluable New York resource, and he's running for Public Advocate because he believes the powerful watchdog position is woefully underutilized by the incumbent. The Public Advocate can introduce legislation, use subpoena power in its oversight of all city agencies and use the bully pulpit of the office to lobby for issues neglected by legislators.

Most recently he has represented:
  • families of victims of the World Trade Center attack, who were seeking the release of 911 emergency tapes and transcripts.
  • MTA officials, who were in charge of drawing up plans to protect the transit system after the World Trade Center attacks, and who were fired when they brought corruption to light.
  • community groups in Harlem, Brooklyn and Prospect Heights fighting the use of eminent domain to take their homes and businesses for private development.
In his 15 years as head of the NYCLU, he was instrumental in establishing institutions and rights that New Yorkers now take for granted, such as:
  • an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board.
  • citizen access to the steps of City Hall for rallies and protests.
He also took a case representing a woman who was walking her dog off-leash in Central Park one morning. She was fined for having her dog off-leash, and because she wasn't carrying identification, she was also cuffed, arrested and taken to jail.

Norman took her case, got media coverage for over-zealous application of the law and successfully defended her. And in the process, he got to know pet owners and the strong bond that exists between humans and their companion animals.

"Pets aren't a privilege; they're a right."
- Norman Siegel

Animal Friendly NYC endorses Norman because he fully supports two issues crucial to bettering the lives of New York City animals:
  • The Pets in Housing Bill, Intro. 189-A. This bill would restore the rights of residents in apartments, coops and condos to keep pets in their homes - a right granted them by the 1983 Pet Law.
  • City-funded low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The most effective way to end the crisis of homeless dogs and cats is to make low-cost spay and neuter clinics readily available to low income New Yorkers. Yet, there is not a single low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the entire five boroughs of New York City. Low-cost spay and neuter will not only cost the city less, but it will end the tragedy of having to put down tens of thousands of animals every year.
He also pledges to use his office to research issues affecting animals and draft legislation that will benefit them.

A law school classmate of Rudy Giuliani, Norman has worked with Mayors Koch, Dinkins, Giuliani, and Bloomberg. He knows the system inside out, knows how to negotiate it effectively, and knows how to build support for an issue when compromise isn't the right solution.

New York City animals and the animal advocacy community could not ask for a more knowledgeable, effective, articulate ally in our corner.

For more information on Norman Siegel, go to

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