There's been lots of chatter about how much discussion there needs to be about nonpartisan elections before it goes before the voters. (After all, the Commission is not deciding whether NYC will have nonpartisan elections. The Commission is deciding what issues the voters will have an opportunity to vote on.)
During the initial public hearings, there were many statements in favor of nonpartisans, particularly from youth. Increasingly, young people are becoming independent. In fact, nationally about 43% of Americans consider themselves to be independent. In NYC, a million registered independents are denied a vote in the decisive first round of voting. Fewer and fewer people are voting in that decisive round -- partisan primaries.
Citizens Union, the venerable government watchdog group, issued a report on Wednesday favoring nonpartisan elections (read the NY Times article here). On June 8, Californians voted - again - for open primaries in the form of Proposition 14. And ever since 2007, there's been a national hue and cry about independents being locked out of elections. It's independents who determine elections.
Nonpartisan elections and open primaries is practically supper table talk all across America.
So, as we continue to debate nonpartisan elections, the Commission should give NYC voters a chance to vote on it. To not do so simply perpetuates an undemocratic exclusionary and corrupt partisan system that is increasingly dangerous.
NYC CHARTER REVISION
- NYC Charter Revision Commission Preliminary Report (website)
- NYC Panel Eyeing Rollback of Term Limits (1010 WINS)
- Charter Commission Puts out a Preliminary To Do List (Gotham Gazette/Wonkster)
- Political Spending Disclosure Sought (By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL, Wall Street Journal) Political Spending Disclosure Sought staff also suggested foregoing a proposal to abolish partisan elections...
- Voters Could Get Term Limit Ballot Question This Fall, Report Says Updated 68 mins ago (DNAInfo)
- Here, In All Its Glory: The Preliminary Charter Revision Commission Report!!! (BY KATHLEEN LUCADAMO, NY Daily News)
- Charter Revision Report: Land Use Process Should Stay Untouched, For Now (by Noah Kazis, Streetsblog NYC)
- NYC panel eyeing rollback of term limits (By SARA KUGLER FRAZIER, Associated Press, Albany Times Union)