Devin Balkind


Public Advocate

Public Advocate

Top 3 Issues:

1. Citywide directory of social services
2. Digital transformation of city agencies
3. Tech-enabled MTA and NYCHA reform


Candidate Video Profile

Read Video Script:

Hi, I’m Devin Balkind, a born and raised New Yorker who’s spent the last decade using technology to help governments, nonprofits and startups improve people’s lives.
I’m concerned that the Public Advocate’s office has become a venue for political provocation and propaganda, instead of what it was intended to be: a way to make government more transparent and accountable to New Yorkers.
As Public Advocate, I’ll build the office into a non-partisan, public-interest technology organization that’s laser focused on installing innovation into the heart of our City government -- saving taxpayers money and significantly improving our City’s services and safety-net.
Here are 5 solutions I’m excited about delivering to you my first year in office:
One - we’ll build a 2-1-1 system that makes all government and nonprofit social services that are available in New York City, accessible online and by telephone, so people can find the help they need, when they need it.
Two - we’ll create a Digital Transformation Service that helps City agencies use appropriate technologies to improve their performance and reduce their costs.
Three - we’ll establish a Civic Engagement Lab that evaluates the City’s existing public participation processes and helps improve them so we can ensure these programs benefit New Yorkers rather than the politicians who want to control them.
Four - we’ll initiate a Regional Organizing Project that improves coordination within our metropolitan area so we can create new pathways for reforming the MTA, Port Authority and other regional bodies that have an enormous impact on our everyday lives.
Five - we’ll make an Open Government App that integrates data from all of the City’s agencies together to create a simple platform enabling New Yorkers to better understand how the City works, spends and performs its duties.
Responsible use of technology is the key to improving our subways, reducing housing costs and reforming the criminal justice system.
Vote for me in November and let’s update our City’s government together.

Current Occupation

Technologist and Nonprofit Executive

Previous Occupation

Entrepreneur, Digital Producer, Technology Trainer, Financial Analyst, Automobile Mechanic


B.S, Northwestern University; Permaculture Design Certificate, Center for Bioregional Living

Organizational Affiliation

Brooklyn Libertarian Party, Sahana Software Foundation

Prior Public Experience

Civic technologist who has helped NYC Community Boards, participatory budgeting programs, local disaster relief efforts and more.

Candidate Statement

I’m a lifelong New Yorker who’s spent the last decade using technology to help governments, nonprofits and startups save money and improve people’s lives.
As Public Advocate, I’ll turn the office into a non-partisan, public-interest technology organization that builds software and offers services that make government faster, better and cheaper.
In my first year, I promise to deliver 5 solutions that will 1) strengthen our social safety net; 2) kickstart digital transformation of city agencies; 3) improve civic engagement processes; 4) facilitate metro-regional coordination; and 5) produce websites that help New Yorkers better understand how their government works and spends money.
Let’s update our city’s government this November!