Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5th, is Election Day in New York. This year, we’ll be choosing a new direction for New York City after 12 years of the Bloomberg era. Polls will be open from 6:00AM – 9:00 PM. You can find your poll site at http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com.
We’ll be electing all NYC offices, and voting on 6 ballot proposals. Below are my endorsements in some key races.
Bill de Blasio for Mayor – For the first time in a generation, NYC can elect a mayoral candidate who will prioritize making New York City a thriving, affordable city for working and middle class New Yorkers. That candidate is Bill de Blasio. De Blasio will bring the issues of affordable housing, universal quality public education, and livable streets to the center of our city’s agenda. After 20 years of Republicans in City Hall, Bill de Blasio’s pragmatic, progressive, Democratic vision is the right direction for NYC.
In addition to Bill de Blasio for mayor, I encourage you to join me in voting for Democrats Letitia James for Public Advocate, Scott Stringer for Comptroller, and Gale Brewer for Manhattan Borough President.
On the Lower East Side, we have a chance to reelect our champion Rosie Mendez to the City Council. I’ll also be voting for two of our neighborhood’s heroes running for Civil Court Judge – Kathryn Freed and Adam Silvera.
In the rest of the city, there are a couple of competitive races worth highlighting.
Ken Thompson for Brooklyn District Attorney – Few public offices impact so many families so directly as D.A. Ken Thompson promises to make law enforcement in Brooklyn about safeguarding both our neighborhoods and our civil rights. He has good ideas on reforming our insane drug war and more. In addition, scandals around the 23-year incumbent, Charles Hynes, – including letting politically-connected accused child-molesters off the hook – disqualify him. Vote for Thompson.
Ben Kallos for City Council, District 5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island) – Ben Kallos has dedicated his career to fighting against corruption and for a more open and honest government in New York. He’s exactly the kind of committed good-government progressive New York needs more of. Vote for Kallos.
Please note: These Proposals will be on the BACK side of your ballot. So you’ll have to turn over the ballot paper to vote on them.
In addition to candidates, there are 6 ballot proposals we’ll be asked to weigh in on. These are all technically amendments to the NY State Constitution. Most of them shouldn’t be done through this broken process, but nonetheless here they are.
NO on Proposal 1 (Authorizing Casino Gambling) – Casinos in urban areas bring blight, invite massive corruption, and destroy families. While they already exist in Atlantic City and Connecticut, this bill would permit casinos in the heart of New York City. This would undoubtedly be a net negative for our economy. Casinos in cities do not bring surrounding development. They are inclusive one-stop shops with restaurants, entertainment, dedicated on-site transit, and impossible-to-locate exits. They shut down surrounding businesses by drowning them out and replacing them with illegal businesses. While I can imagine a role for casinos in certain upstate locations, this proposal does not specify that. The proposal is also dishonestly worded, alone a reason to oppose it. Vote NO on Prop. 1.
YES on Proposal 2 (Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities) – This has no business being a ballot measure, but it’s a laudable policy goal. Vote YES on Prop. 2.
YES on Proposal 3 (Exclusion of Indebtedness for Sewage Facilities) – This will enable smaller NY State communities to issue debt to build needed sewage facilities if they so choose. Vote YES on Prop. 3.
YES on Proposal 4 (Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve) – Another one that shouldn’t be on a statewide ballot. It will help a few families in remote upstate New York get title to the land they’ve lived on for generations. Probably won’t impact a single reader of this post, but it’s the right thing to do. Vote YES on Prop. 4.
NO on Proposal 5 (Land Exchange in State Forest Preserve with NYCO Minerals, Inc.) – This would allow a multi-national mining company (NYCO Minerals) to expand a mine into 200 acres of the “Forever Wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve in exchange for a larger tract added to the preserve. It is a complicated and not-all-bad exchange. But the precedent of allowing strip-mining in one of the country’s oldest wild preserves (and a true gem of NY State) is too dangerous. Also, the idea of writing the name of a mining company permanently into the NY State Constitution is thoroughly distasteful. Vote NO on Prop. 5.
YES on Proposal 6 (Increasing Age Until Judges can Serve) – This overturns an ageist mandatory retirement age for certain judges written in 1869 (when 70 seemed older than it does today). That costs us experienced judges and generally makes no sense. This is a good (if incomplete) fix. Vote YES on Prop. 6.
To recap: Vote NO on Proposals 1 and 5. Vote YES on Proposals 2, 3, 4, and 6.
So there you have my picks for this important election. Whomever you support, please be sure to vote. Our city needs your voice.