Friday, July 02, 2010

An Open Letter to the New York City Charter Revision Commission

UPDATED 7/2/10

June 2010

We are aware that the Charter Revision Commission is considering the issue of nonpartisan elections and whether to put it to a public referendum. We write to urge the Commission to give the voters the opportunity to decide this question in November.

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.

Recently, in California an initiative to create a statewide nonpartisan system of elections passed with the support of 2 million voters, by a comfortable margin of 54% to 46%. While we have diverse views on the question, we feel New Yorkers should also have a chance to weigh in. Such a dialogue should not be short-circuited on the basis of partisan calculations. Let the voters be the judge.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Rev. Melvin Abram, Brooklyn
Marva Allen, Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe
Rev. Kim W. Anderson, Harlem
David Banks, President, Eagle Academy Foundation
Phillip Banks, Retired Lt., NYPD
Rev. Henry Belin, Harlem
Derrick Bell, Visiting Professor, NYU School of Law
Dr. Kim Best, Community Advocate, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Barbara Biggs Glover, Retired Chief Steward (Communications Workers of America Local 1101)
Howard Dodson, Executive Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Rev. David Dyson, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
Saundra Finley, Women on the Move
The Honorable Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Senior Pastor, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral
Dr. Lenora Fulani
Rev. David Haberer of Church for All Nations
Michael A. Hall, Sr., TWU Local 100, Radio Representative TA, Surface Maintenance
Nicholas Johnson, Shop Steward, Local 237 Teamsters
Lisa Kenner, President, Van Dyke Resident Association
Dr. M. Khalid, former NYC Charter Revision Commissioner (2003), Staten Island
Harry Kresky, Attorney
Gabrielle L. Kurlander, President and CEO, All Stars Project
Dr. Frank Macchiarola, St. Francis College
Charles H. Orvam, Bronx Clergy Task Force
Senator Frank Padavan
Rev. Robert Royal, Clergy With A Purpose
Cathy L. Stewart, Chair, New York County Independence Party
Council Member Eric Ulrich
Rev. Jacob Underwood, East New York, Brooklyn
Rev. Wayland Williams, Jr., Harlem
Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Executive Pastor of the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY

1 comment:

richardwinger said...

California prop. 14 was not an initiative. The legislature put it on the ballot.