Thursday, July 01, 2010

NYC Leaders Urge Charter Revision Commission to Place Nonpartisan Elections on the Ballot

An open letter to the New York City Charter Revision Commission from a cross-section of religious and community leaders, political independents, civil rights activists, educators, labor activists and elected officials was delivered to the Commission today urging them to place an initiative for nonpartisan elections on the ballot this November.  The Commission has just concluded a series of public hearings and forums and will deliberate on which issues it intends to put before the voters.
The open letter states in part:

Much has changed since 2003 when this matter was first put on the ballot. Voters are more restless, more frustrated with partisanship, and less content with traditional party politics. We believe the time has come for a full and open dialogue on the best ways to make our system more responsive to the changes in political attitudes. Putting the measure on the ballot will provide that forum…Such a dialogue should not be short-circuited on the basis of partisan calculation.  Let the voters be the judge.
The letter further states “While we have diverse views on the question, we feel New Yorkers should also have a chance to weigh in,” making reference to the statewide non-partisan election referendum that passed with an 8-point margin in California on June 8th.
Nearly 900,000 voters in New York City are not registered in either the Democratic or Republican parties.  Nonpartisan elections would allow them to vote in each round of the city’s municipal elections. Of those 751,442 are not registered with any political party and 25% are under the age of 30.  Independents are a diverse group: 20% are African-American, 24% Latino and 11% Asian-American.
For more information contact Sarah Lyons at 212-962-1824.

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