This November, our democracy is at stake. In Washington, where we face a genuine legitimacy crisis, we must vote for a Congress that that will preserve our core democratic institutions and values.
Here in NYC, we have an opportunity to do something important as well: To strengthen our local democracy. To turbo-charge civic engagement. To expand participatory budgeting city-wide. To improve our campaign finance rules.
The 2018 NYC Charter Revision Commission is putting three proposals on the November 6th ballot that would amend the City Charter (NYC’s constitution) to give New Yorkers a stronger voice.
I support the proposals, and I’m asking you to pledge to vote for them.
Question #1: Campaign Finance
Reduce Contribution Limits and Expand Matching Funds for Small-Dollar Contributions
NYC’s campaign finance system is good (way better than Albany or Washington), but we can improve it. This proposal would cut individual contribution limits (from $5100 to $2000 for citywide offices, $2750 to $1000 for City Council) and expand public matching funds. This will empower small donors and reduce the corrupting influence of money in NYC politics.
Question #2: Civic Engagement
Create a Civic Engagement Commission & Expand Participatory Budgeting City-wide
New Yorkers are hungry to take civic responsibilities beyond voting and jury duty. That’s why I introduced legislation to create an Office of Civic Engagement and proposed that the Charter Revision Commission put it on the ballot. And now, here it is!
The Civic Engagement Commission would support community organizations in their civic engagement work, engage New Yorkers in civic service years, support parks & library & plaza stewardship groups, expand language access at polling sites ... and expand participatory budgeting citywide.
Participatory budgeting has grown from 4 districts when we launched eight years ago to 31 today. Now, we have the chance to follow Paris & Madrid to expand participatory budgeting citywide, to tap the democratic creativity & energy of New Yorkers in every neighborhood.
At a time of record-low civic trust, a Civic Engagement Commission and citywide PB will help New Yorkers breathe new life into our local democracy.
Question #3: Community Boards
Establish an eight-year term limit and provide more planning resources.
The proposal would establish term limits (four 2-year terms) for Community Board members and standardize the appointment process to make the Boards more representative of their communities. It would also provide additional resources to Community Boards, particularly in city planning, so they can be more effective.
More details on the three proposals are available here.
Please pledge to vote for these proposals. And if you want to take part in some civic engagement right away, help spread the word to your friends and neighbors.