Public Advocate Candidates Sign Pledge to Reconvene Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) and Demand COPIC Website Put Back Up

Charter Mandated Commission hasn’t been convened in over 2000 days and the website was taken down immediately after the last Public Advocate debate.

Two candidates for New York City Public Advocate, Republican Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil and Libertarian Devin Balkind, have signed a pledge to convene the Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) within 100 days of taking office.

Every Public Advocate has convened COPIC at least once, except for Williams, who has never convened it. 

Dr. Devi and Devin also demand that the COPIC website be put back up and request an explanation from current Public Advocate Jumaane Williams as to why the website was taken down immediately after a contentious debate in which Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil repeatedly mentioned COPIC.

The site was up on October 18th, the NY1 Public Advocate Debate was on October 19th, and the website was down October 21st. 

The New York City Charter established the Commission on Public Information & Communication (COPIC) to “make city government more transparent to the citizens it serves and to encourage the public to become more actively involved in government.“

“COPIC brings the right people to the table to make city government more transparent and improve civic engagement processes” says Libertarian candidate Devin Balkind.

“If the City agencies represent different spokes of a wheel, COPIC is at the hub. Because many of the City’s problems appear across agencies, we need a commission like COPIC to address systemic problems,” says Republican candidate Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil.

The charter declares that COPIC should consist of the following people: “Public Advocate (Chair), Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations; the Commissioner of the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS); the Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT)” and others.

Although COPIC has “never been properly funded”, it has achieved many things in the past, including establishing NYCTV, publishing a groundbreaking Public Data Directory, creating guides to NYS FOIL and Open Meeting Laws, and advancing webcasting and live streaming of public meetings.

An archive with screenshots of the COPIC website before it was taken down can be found at copic.nyc.

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