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Comptroller Scott Stringer. Government Watchdog and Voice of New Yorkers

According to several polls by the influential Quinnipiac University, Comptroller Scott Stringer is the most popular citywide elected official in New York City. He is considered by the vast majority of New Yorkers as a common sense check on Mayor Bill De Blasio and as the most moderate of the top officials of city government.

Among his biggest achievements newspapers usually list effective audits of city agencies, strong management of the city pension funds and rigorous checks of city contracts with private companies.

Scott M. Stringer was born and raised in Washington Heights, where he attended local public schools and graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Elyse, live with their two sons, Maxwell and Miles, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Scott Stringer is a grandson of immigrants from Ukraine and Ireland. Stringer’s mother, Arlene Stringer-Cuevas, served on the New York City Council and is a cousin of Bella Abzug, former Congresswoman from Manhattan. By the way, both parents of Bella Abzug (her maiden name was Savitsky) were Russian Jewish immigrants.

Attorney Anna Latkovskaia,
Comptroller Scott Stringer,
community leaders
Margarita Kagan and Ari Kagan.

Stringer worked as legislative assistant to Assemblyman and future Congressman Jerrold Nadler. In 1992, he was elected to the New York State Assembly. He worked there till 2005. On September 13, 2005 he won the Democratic primary for Manhattan Borough President against 9 other candidates.

In 2013, Scott Stringer won the tough Democratic primary against former Governor Elliot Spitzer who spent more than $10 mln. on his campaign for the position of City Comptroller.

Here are just a few significant accomplishments of Comptroller Scott Stringer in 2014:

  • Commissioned several audits to cut waste, fraud and abuse in government, tackling areas like public school overcrowding and lack of funds for arts education, the City’s Build It Back Program and the New York City Housing Authority.
  • Created a Sandy Oversight Unit to hold hearings and investigate how federal, state and city money is being spent on the recovery. The Sandy Oversight Unit: 212-669-2560.
  • Announced the City five pension funds returned 17.4% in Fiscal Year 2014 and reached a total of $160.5 bln. – the highest ever recorded to end a fiscal year.
  • Demanded in August that De Blasio administration provided all pre-K contracts for review by the Comptroller’s Office before opening many additional childcare centers.
  • Found that thousands of computers, laptops and iPods were lost, not accounted for or kept unpacked in public schools and in the Department of Education since 2011.
  • Successfully audited Queens Public Library and found significant abuses by the Library Director Thomas Galante and trustees who used library funds for their own purposes. As a result of the Comptroller’s audit, Library’s Board of trustees was replaced and Galante was eventually forced out of his job.

Scott Stringer is a “fiercely independent” from Mayor, according to his own words and City Charter. His hard work as Comptroller and principled position as government watchdog created some tensions and public disagreements with Mayor Bill De Blasio. Nevertheless, Scott Stringer feels that he is a voice of New Yorkers and will fight only for their interests.

Photo by Alex Rozenberg


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