|1st New York City Public Advocate|
January 1, 1994 - December 31, 2001
Mark Joseph Green
March 15, 1945
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Deni Frand (1977-present)|
|Relations||Stephen L. Green (brother)|
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
Harvard Law School
Mark Joseph Green (born March 15, 1945) is an American author, former public official, public interest lawyer and a Democratic politician from New York City. He worked with Ralph Nader from 1970-80, eventually as director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, and was the former president of Air America Radio (2007-09). His 2001 nomination and loss to Michael Bloomberg for NYC Mayor is chronicled in the 2002 Sundance Film, Off the Record: The 9/11 Election.
He published his 23rd book in May 2016, Bright, Infinite Future: A Generational Memoir on the Progressive Rise (St Martin's Press). He has co-written two bestsellers, Who Runs Congress? (1972) (co-written with James Fallows) and The Book on Bush (2004) (co-written with Eric Alterman). He has collaborated on several books with consumer advocate Ralph Nader (The Closed Enterprise System, 1972; Monopoly Makers, 1974, Verdicts on Lawyers, 1975, Taming the Giant Corporation, 1976, another recent book is Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President, co-edited by Green and Michele Jolin, a transition policy book for President Obama, co-produced by the New Democracy Project and the Center for American Progress Action Fund). He was a Visiting Scholar at NYU College and Law School from 2002-06.
He was host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Both Sides Now from 2010 - December 2016. which was aired on 200 stations and recorded at IHeartMedia in New York City. The weekly program rotated such regular panelists as Arianna Huffington, Ron Reagan, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, as well as Kellyanne Conway, Mary Matalin, David Frum, and Rich Lowry.. In February, 2017, he founded and ran the Twitter handle @ShadowingTrump, consisting of 21 leading national progressive scholars and former officials. It rose to 74,000 followers by the end of 2017.
Green was New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner from 1990-93 and was twice elected New York City Public Advocate, in 1993 and 1997. He won Democratic primaries for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and Mayor of New York City and in each case lost in the general election. Additionally, he has lost campaigns to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, the Democratic Nominee for New York Attorney General, and the Democratic Nominee for New York Public Advocate eight years after finishing off two terms in that position.
Green was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn until he was three and then moved to Long Island, first to Elmont, New York and later Great Neck, New York. Both his parents were Republicans; his father, a lawyer and residential apartment landlord and his mother, a public-school teacher.
He graduated from Great Neck South High School in 1963. He graduated from Cornell University in 1967 and from Harvard Law School in 1970, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He has one brother, realtor Stephen L. Green, founder of SLGreen Realty Corp.
Green has been married twice. His first marriage to Lynn Hinerman, whom he married while in law school, ended after eighteen months. In 1977, Green married Deni Frand, who later became the director of the New York City office of the liberal interest group People for the American Way, as well as a senior associate at AOL-Time Warner and the Citi Foundation. The couple has two children, Jonah and Jenya.
In 1967, he interned for Jacob Javits and while in law school in the early 1970s, Green was a "Nader's Raider" at Ralph Nader's Public Citizen where he worked on a lawsuit against the administration of Richard Nixon after the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.[specify] After law school, he returned to Washington D.C. and ran the Congress Watch division of the consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen from 1977-80.
In 1980, he returned to New York City and won the Democratic primary election to represent the East Side of Manhattan in the House of Representatives; he lost the race to Republican incumbent, Bill Green (not related). In 1981, Green, with songwriter Harry Chapin, founded the New Democracy Project, a public policy institute in New York City. He ran it for a decade. During the 1984 presidential election, he served as chief speechwriter for Democratic candidate Senator Gary Hart, who ran second in the primaries.
In 1986, Green won the Democratic nomination for the Senate against multimillionaire John Dyson, spending just $800,000 to Dyson's $6,000,000. Dyson remained on the ballot as the candidate of the Liberal Party. Green lost the general election to Republican incumbent Alfonse D'Amato who was supported by then mayor Ed Koch; Green filed a formal ethics complaint in the Senate Ethics Committee against D'Amato that resulted in the Senator being reprimanded by the United States Senate after media reports that suggested that nomination of D'Amato as a chair of the Senate Committee of Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs had been tainted by illegal financing of his campaign to the Senate.
During his Senate campaign, Green refused to accept money from special interest groups' political action committees (PACs) - which had accounted for 25% of all campaign spending in Congressional campaigns in 1984 - denouncing PACs as "legalized bribery." His opinion mirrored the stance of Common Cause, the citizens' lobby which organized to abolish PACs over fears of "special interests" buying votes.
In 1990, he was appointed the Consumer Affairs Commissioner of New York City by Mayor David Dinkins. In 1993, he was elected the first New York City Public Advocate, and re-elected in 1997. In that office, Green led investigations of HMOs, hospitals, and nursing homes which led to fines by the New York State Attorney General.
A 1994 investigation on the Bell Regulations ("Libby Zion Law") to limit resident working hours and requiring physician supervision--and follow-up study prompted the New York State Department of Health to crack down on violating hospitals. He led an effort against tobacco advertising aimed at children, enacting a law banning cigarette vending machines and released a series of exposés and legal actions against tobacco advertising targeted at children--concluding that R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was engaged in "commercial child abuse"--which culminated in a 1997 Federal Trade Commission decision that ended the Joe Camel ads.
As Public Advocate, Green first proposed the 311 complaint help line that Mayor Bloomberg later implemented. He wrote laws that matched small donations with multiple city funds, created the Voter Commission, upheld the legality of the Independent Budget Office, barred stores from charging women more than men for the same services, and that prohibited companies from firing female employees merely because they were victims of domestic violence. He started the City's first web site, NYC.Gov, which he later gifted to City Hall, where it is still in use.
One of his most high-profile accomplishments was a lawsuit to obtain information about racial profiling in Rudy Giuliani's police force. As Green told the Gotham Gazette, "We sued Mayor Giuliani because he was in deep denial about racial profiling. [After winning the case, we] released an investigation showing a pattern of unpunished misconduct ... [and] the rate that police with substantiated complaints are punished went from 25 percent to 75 percent." Green was reportedly one of the first public officials to draw attention to racial profiling by the NYPD.
Green ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1998, when D'Amato was seeking a fourth term. Green finished third in the Democratic primary behind the winner, Congressman Charles Schumer, and 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Despite Green's personal ties to Nader, he did not support Nader's presidential campaigns.
In the 2000 campaign he praised Nader's work as a consumer advocate but endorsed Democratic nominee Al Gore, who narrowly lost the election to George W. Bush. In 2000, he assisted the successful Senate campaign of first lady Hillary Clinton, coining the phrase "Listening Tour" which guided the candidate through a state she hadn't previously lived in. In 2004, Green was co-chair of Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign in New York.
Green ran for Mayor of New York City and won the Democratic nomination in 2001 but lost to Michael Bloomberg 50%-48% in the closest NYC mayoral election in a century. Green had narrowly defeated Fernando Ferrer in the primary, surviving a negative contest that divided the party. The two other candidates were Council Speaker Peter Vallone and City Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks occurred on the morning of the Democratic primary and contributed to Green's loss. Also, Bloomberg spent an unprecedented $74 million in his campaign, especially on TV ads and direct mail. Rudy Giuliani, who suddenly had an extremely high popularity publicly endorsed Bloomberg.
The Economist wrote, "The billionaire businessman [Bloomberg] is usually seen as one of the post-September 11th winners (if such a word can be so used): he would probably have lost the mayoralty to Mark Green, a leftish Democrat, had the terrorist strike not happened. Yet it is also worth noting that his election probably spared New York City a turbulent period of score-settling over Rudy Giuliani's legacy." Chris Smith wrote in New York Magazine in 2011, "Many old-school Democrats believe that Bloomberg's 2001 victory over Mark Green was a terrorist-provoked, money-soaked aberration."
Green was criticized by the Ferrer campaign for the actions of supporters in the run-off that were construed as racist, involving literature with New York Post caricatures of Ferrer and Al Sharpton distributed in white enclaves of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Green stated that he had nothing to do with the dissemination of the literature. An investigation by the district attorney of Kings County, New York, Charles J. Hynes, came to the conclusion that "Mark Green had no knowledge of these events, and that when he learned of them, he repeatedly denounced the distribution of this literature and sought to find out who had engaged in it."
The incident kept Ferrer from endorsing the Democratic nominee and is thought to have diminished minority turnout in the general election which helped the Republican candidate win in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Green wrote an article about the campaign a decade later in the 9/11 anniversary issue of New York Magazine. in which he reported that Bloomberg told him in 2002 that "I wouldn't have won" without Ferrer's late campaign opposition to Green.
Green ran in the Democratic primary for New York State Attorney General in 2006. He faced former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, former White House Staff Secretary Sean Patrick Maloney, and former lieutenant governor candidate Charles King in the primary. Green did not receive the required 25% at the state Democratic convention to earn a spot on the primary ballot and therefore had to circulate nominating petitions statewide to be on the September ballot.
He was required to submit at least 15,000 valid signatures; on July 13, he submitted more than 40,000 signatures. He held several endorsements of note, including former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the New York Times, and the New York Daily News.
On September 12, 2006, Green lost to Andrew Cuomo in his bid to secure the Democratic nomination to succeed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. On the evening the results came in, he vowed to reporters that "I won't be running for office again. But I'll continue to advocate, write and teach." Cuomo beat the Republican candidate, former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.
On February 10, 2009, Green announced that he would again run for the office of Public Advocate. His policy director was Benjamin Kallos (who later was elected to the New York City Council), with whom he worked on "100 Ideas for a Better City".
Mark J. Green has appeared on these slates:
On March 6, 2007, Green's brother, New York real estate magnate Stephen L. Green, purchased majority shares in Air America Radio. Stephen served as chairman, and Mark as president. Stephen sold Air America Radio in 2009 to Charles Kireker. Mark continued as president.
Green was co-host, with Arianna Huffington, of the syndicated talk show 7 Days in America, which aired on the network. from 2007-2009. He was the host of Both Sides Now, nationally syndicated on 200 stations and recorded at WOR710 AM in New York City; the program ended in December 2016.
On February 27, 2017, Green founded and ran the Twitter handle @ShadowingTrump [see ShadowingTrump.org]"to daily debunk Trump and propose progressive alternatives." His "Shadow Cabinet" of 21 included such national progressive leaders as Laurence Tribe as attorney general, Robert Reich as secretary of labor, Diane Ravitch as Education Secretary, Rashad Robinson as "Secretary of Justice Issues, Marielena Hincapie of the National Immigration Law Center as Immigration Secretary. It had 74,000 followers within its first 10 months, generating 54 million "impressions".
|Party political offices|
| Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate (class 3) from New York
| Democratic Nominee for Mayor of New York
Newly Created Position
| New York City Public Advocate
| President of the New York City Council
(as Public Advocate)