Letitia “Tish” James is the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York. With decades of experience and a long record of achievements, she is a powerful, effective attorney and lifelong public servant. When she was elected in 2018, she became the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General.
In her first term, Attorney General James focused on protecting vulnerable New York residents and ensuring that individuals or companies that broke state laws were held accountable. She secured more than $7.5 billion for New York from those who broke state laws and took advantage of New Yorkers, including more than $2.5 billion from opioid manufacturers and distributors for their roles in the opioid epidemic. Under her leadership, the Office of the Attorney General helped remove more than 4,000 guns from New York communities, took down dozens of dangerous drug and gun trafficking rings throughout the state, and took legal action to stop the proliferation of ghost guns.
Attorney General James took on predatory landlords who harassed tenants and endangered children by violating New York’s lead paint laws. She protected New Yorkers’ health and the state’s natural resources by going after polluters and companies that flouted environmental protection laws. Attorney General James stood up for vulnerable populations by going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a question about citizenship from being added to the census and successfully protecting DACA.
She has been a national leader in the fight to defend access to reproductive health care, leading dozens of legal actions across the country to protect and expand access to this lifesaving care. Attorney General James also stood up against corruption and took strong action against officials who broke New York laws or workplace protection measure, regardless of their status or political affiliation.
Before serving as Attorney General, Letitia James was the Public Advocate for the City of New York. When she was elected in 2013, she became the first woman of color to hold citywide office. As Public Advocate, her office passed more legislation than all previous Public Advocates combined, including a groundbreaking law that banned questions about salary history from the employment process to address the pervasive gender wage gap. Prior to serving as Public Advocate, Letitia James represented the 35th Council District in Brooklyn in the New York City Council for ten years. As a Council Member, she passed the Safe Housing Act, legislation that forced landlords to improve living conditions for tenants in New York City’s worst buildings. Before her election to the City Council, Letitia James was head of the Brooklyn Regional Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
Letitia James began her career as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society. A proud Brooklynite, she is a graduate of Lehman College and Howard University School of Law.