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  • NYS Writers Institute

In conversation: NYS Attorney General Letitia James and former Attorney General Robert Abrams


“Recent history has shown us the vital role of the Attorney General’s office in New York State. We’re honored to join with the Archives Partnership Trust for this special event.”

-- Paul Grondahl, Director of the NYS Writers Institute

Join us for an engaging evening of conversation on "Democracy in Action: The Role of the Attorney General and the Public Good", with current New York State Attorney General Letitia James and former Attorney General Robert Abrams, author of Luckiest Guy in the World: My Journey in Politics. The event will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, September 23.

Be there in-person or watch streaming live as they discuss the importance of public service, and Abrams’ groundbreaking work on environmental, consumer protection and civil rights issues that forever transformed the role of the office of Attorney General.



Robert Abrams, born and raised in the Bronx, went on to become a crusading attorney general of New York from 1979 to 1993. As a reformer, he battled political machine bosses and special interests, winning historic victories for consumers, protecting the environment, and a woman’s right to choose. As president of the National Association of Attorneys General, he led attorneys general across the nation to protect the rights of all Americans. In recognition of his contributions to the people of New York State, the Justice Building in Albany was renamed the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice.

Letitia "Tish" James is the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York. She is the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General.

In 2013, Ms. James was elected Public Advocate for the City of New York and became the first woman of color to hold citywide office. As Public Advocate, Ms. James served as a watchdog over New York City government agencies and as an advocate for the City’s most vulnerable communities.


7 p.m. Thursday, September 23rd In-person and livestream

Event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

This event will be held in-person at the Cultural Education Center -- 222 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12230 -- with an option for registrants to livestream at home.

A direct link and password to the digital meeting space will be emailed to all registrants ahead of time. Contact with questions or in need of assistance.


"At the heart of this political memoir is the story of how the office of state attorney general, an historically sleepy backwater post, has evolved into a front line major protector of the rights of citizens across the country.

New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams exercised leadership in organizing attorneys general throughout the nation to take collective action against the Reagan administration’s punishing laissez-faire anti-regulatory policies.

Abrams and his fellow attorneys general set the precedent for the successful challenges mounted by today’s attorneys general against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and rollback of consumer and civil rights protections.

Through lively anecdotes, Abrams captures the Bronx of his childhood, his early insurgent grassroots campaigns taking on the powerful Democratic Party machine, the urban challenges of being Bronx Borough President, the turbulent Vietnam anti-war years, and the beginnings of the environmental justice movement. He revisits the explosive Tawana Brawley case where an African American teenage girl alleged rape and brutality by a group of white men that included law enforcement officials.

Abrams provides behind-the-scenes interactions with important figures ranging from Golda Meir, George McGovern, Mario Cuomo, Robert Moses, and Cesar Chavez to Shirley Chisholm. The book demonstrates how ordinary people battling unequal odds against corporate and other powerful forces can prevail when laws are enforced to protect their rights.

In The Luckiest Guy in the World, Robert Abrams wears his progressive values on his sleeve, providing an optimistic view about our nation’s return to its fundamental values."

You may purchase at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza:


A Conversation about Civic Action with Former Attorney General Robert Abrams

A Conversation with Robert Abrams and NYS Archivist Tom Ruller




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