Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NYC Independence Party's Cathy Stewart Testifies for Top Two Nonpartisan Election Before Charter Revision: Democratic Reform of the Political Process

NYC Independence Party chief organizer and Manhattan Chair Cathy Stewart speaks to the Charter Revision Commission in the Bronx, July 21, 2010 on behalf of nonpartisan elections/ Top-Two Primary.

Stewart outlines the history of support for nonpartisans by Mayor Bloomberg, the recent position change by Citizens Union, and the New York City Organizations of the Independence Party of New York.
"The public debate on Top Two in New York City has helped to underscore the difference between the city and state Independence Party. For the city party, our concern has always been the democratic reform of the political process to give more voters—including independents—the right to participate. And we thank the Mayor and the Commission for creating the opportunity for a vigorous public study of non-partisan elections."

"Sadly for us, this vibrant debate is in sharp contrast with the conduct of Independence Party's state chairman. Frank MacKay has spent years effectively outlawing democracy inside the party, reducing the party's agenda to the most cynical patronage and quid pro quo, and now, if press reports of the ongoing investigation by law enforcement are accurate, may also have committed criminal offenses in the name of "party building." As is well known, the Independence Party of New York City has long opposed MacKay's politics and practice."

Read full testimony at NY Daily News/ Daily Politics by Celeste Katz here.

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