Reinvent Albany: Vote YES on 3 NYC Ballot Questions on Election Day


Reinvent Albany: Vote YES on 3 NYC Ballot Questions on Election Day

Ballot Questions Will:
1) Strengthen City’s Campaign Finance Laws
2) Improve Civic Engagement
3) Establish Term Limits for Community Boards

Reinvent Albany urges New York City voters to vote YES on all 3 ballot proposals on the back of the ballot on Election Day, November 6th.

The ​referenda​ will strengthen the city’s model campaign finance system, create a Civic Engagement Commission to activate New Yorkers, and establish term limits for community boards.

Reinvent Albany believes a YES vote on these ​ballot measures will collectively amplify the voice of everyday New Yorkers and create new opportunities for injecting fresh perspectives into the public debate over how to make our city better for everyone.

The referenda were put on the ballot by the ​2018 Charter Revision Commission convened by the Mayor​. Reinvent Albany testified before the Commission on six different occasions, ​including as an invited expert on campaign finance reform.

A separate ​2019 Charter Revision Commission​ was also formed this year, and will put measures on the ballot in 2019.

Reinvent Albany advocates for open, accountable state government, and works on city issues that serve as models for New York State, including the city’s campaign finance system, Freedom of Information Law and Open Data. Reinvent Albany is part of the Democracy YES coalition supporting a YES vote on the ballot measures.

About the Ballot Measures

Question #1 (Campaign Finance Reforms)
The proposed reforms will substantially lower contribution limits and enable candidates to access more public funds to run for office. These changes to the campaign finance system will encourage candidates to raise more funds from small donors and rely less on big contributors during their campaigns. Relying on numerous small local donors rather than fewer big donors helps make candidates more responsive to the communities they serve.

The proposed reforms will specifically:

Question #2 (Civic Engagement Commission)
Question 2 establishes a Civic Engagement Commission to promote civic activism and participation in our democracy. New York City has experienced dwindling voter participation in the twenty-first century, and the Civic Engagement Commission provides a mechanism to mobilize New Yorkers to engage with their government.

The proposed reforms will specifically:

  • establish a 15-member Civic Engagement Commission with 8 appointees selected by the mayor, and the remainder appointed by the City Council Speaker and each borough president.
  • require the Commission administer a citywide participatory budget program in which New Yorkers vote on projects to be considered for funding in the city’s budget.
  • develop language access programs including a poll worker translation program.
  • engage with community groups, institutions and city agencies to identify and

develop initiatives and opportunities to foster civic participation.

Question #3 (Community Boards)
Question 3 establishes term limits for community boards, and standardizes the process for applying to be a community board member. These proposals will diversify community boards to better reflect the neighborhoods they represent and give more community members the opportunity to serve.

The proposed reforms will specifically:

  • establish a limit of four consecutive two-year terms for community boards

    beginning in April 2019, with exceptions for board members appointed or reappointed on April 1, 2020, who can serve five consecutive two-year terms so not all members depart the boards simultaneously.

  • require borough presidents to put standardized applications online so New Yorkers can apply to become community board members.
  • require community board applicants disclose potential conflicts of interest and affirm they will follow city ethics laws.
  • mandate borough presidents report on their procedures for filling board positions.
  • enable community boards to receive technical support on land use from the Civic Engagement Commission, if created by ballot proposal #2.


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