By Arthur Schwartz
Did you know that the polls were opened for voting on November 5 (and on our first five Early Voting Days, which have passed)? There are two important things on the ballot:
- We get to vote on giving Jumaane Williams the last two years on the normal four-year Public Advocate term. (Yes, he has a Republican opponent.)
- We get to vote about some important amendments to the City Charter.
The City Charter Amendment of greatest interest is about Ranked Choice Voting (Ballot Question 1). What ranked choice voting means is that in City races (Mayor, Controller, Public Advocate, City Council), voters get to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. A voter’s choices will kick in if one candidate does not get the 40% needed under the City Charter to get elected without a runoff. It is a system now utilized in California which has worked well. It not only avoids costly runoffs, it forces candidates to appeal to more than a narrow group in order to get elected. And it is nice for voters who like more than one candidate and want to express support for two—or three—or four—or five. It will be a great system. Vote Yes!
Other Charter Amendments:
- Ballot Question 2—Strengthens the independence of the Civilian Complaint Review Board and would add a person appointed by the Speaker and by the Public Advocate.
- Ballot Question 3—Takes two Conflict of Interest Board appointees away from the Mayor and gives them to the Public Advocate and the Comptroller.
- Ballot Question 4—Allows the City not to spend all of its revenues and create a Surplus Fund.
- Ballot Question 5—Gives Community Boards an extra 15 to 30 days to review land-use decisions in the summer. Community Board input is your input.
My recommendation is to vote Yes on all 5.
Arthur Schwartz is the Democratic District Leader for Greenwich Village.