Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
Loading

Brian Kavanagh

Brian Kavanagh

  • De Blasio Launches Voting Reform Push with Tele Town Hall

    de Blasio voting

    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio held a telephone town hall with constituents on Wednesday night focused on voting reform. It was the first step in what the mayor recently promised would be “a major effort” to see electoral reforms like early voting passed through the state Legislature before the end of session in Albany, which is June 21.

    Joining de Blasio as hosts of the call

    ...
  • Activists, Lawmakers Rally for Voting Reform at Capitol

    vote better ny capitol

    Tuesday's rally (photo: @NYCVotes)


    A coalition of electoral reform activists were joined by Democratic state lawmakers during their annual pilgrimage to the New York State Capitol Tuesday to call for legislation that would remove barriers to the ballot and ensure that eligible New Yorkers are provided more opportunity to vote.

    “Vote Better NY” seeks common sense changes to New York's voting laws to ensure that more eligible New Yorkers make it to the polls. This year, the organization is advocating for a slew of bills, including early

    ...
  • One-House Budgets Show Little Indication Ethics, Voting & Campaign Finance Reforms Will Advance in Albany

    heastie cuomo flanagan

    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    In one-house budgets passed this week, the state Legislature showed little evidence that new government ethics, voting, and campaign finance reform measures will be passed in Albany any time soon. This, despite persistent issues with public corruption, antiquated election laws, and the ongoing ability for wealthy interests to donate virtually unlimited sums to politicians.

    Through his January State of the State tour, 2017 policy book, and executive budget, Governor

    ...
  • Cuomo Embraces Voting Reform Agenda, But Implementation Poses Challenges

    Cuomo voting 2015

    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo: The Governor's Office on flickr)


    During his State of the State tour early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a trio of major reforms hailed as important steps toward modernizing New York’s antiquated electoral system and increasing the state’s paltry voter turnout. While they are long-called for proposals that many are pleased to see Cuomo promote, implementing these goals could be more complicated than it may seem.

    Two of the three reforms, early voting and automatic voter registration, were outlined in Cuomo’s 2016

    ...
  • De Blasio Appeals for Support in Pushing Albany on Voting Reform

    bdb speech flag

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In order to improve New York’s dismal voter turnout rates, it’s necessary to “shake the foundations of things,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in his keynote speech at a voter turnout symposium at New York Law School on Friday.

    Speaking to an audience of more than a hundred people, many of them advocates of voting and election reform, the mayor made a forceful appeal to reinforce his recent call for reform bills in Albany. De Blasio lamented the fact that New York is well behind dozens of other states in

    ...
  • Taking Up Voting Reform, De Blasio Cites Sanders Campaign as Motivation

    de blasio register to vote brooklyn

    De Blasio registers a voter (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    As Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio strongly pushed for voting reform in New York, but as Mayor, it has not been high on his list of priorities. Last month, with Election Day around the corner, that seemed to change as de Blasio renewed his call for a system that will encourage voting in a state with one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country.

    The advocacy comes just ahead of de Blasio’s re-election year and is spurred in part, the mayor said, by the

    ...
  • Assembly to Begin Implementation of Technology-Based Reforms

    17084452209 83b7800f6b z

    photo via The Governor's Office


    Earlier this year, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced he would implement a series of recommendations -- proposed by the Assembly Workgroup on Legislative Process, Operations and Public Participation -- designed to increase transparency, efficiency and participation in the chamber. Some of those changes were voted on as rules reforms, others were made as pledges. But many of them that deal with

    ...
  • Lobbying, in Albany, for Better Voting Laws

    vote better ny dalton political nyc votes

    Students in Albany to lobby for voting and registration reform (#VoteBetterNY)


    Before dawn on a cold and rainy May morning, about 175 New Yorkers gathered outside a building on Church Street, waiting to board a bus to Albany. Some had left their Staten Island and Queens homes as early as 4 a.m. to make departure on time, others had taken the day off work or school, all were there for the same reason: to meet with state lawmakers and convince them to modernize New York’s antiquated election laws.

    ...
  • Hearing Advances Reforms to City Campaign Finance System

    kallos computer

    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio is mired in controversy over his fundraising activities and proximity to lobbyists, the City Council is moving on bills to reduce the possibility of ‘pay-to-play’ campaign financing and make significant tweaks to strengthen an already-robust public-matching system.

    The Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing on Monday to examine ...

  • Decision Opens New York to Widespread Online Voter Registration

    schneiderman rally

    AG Schneiderman (photo via AG's office on flickr)


    The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued an opinion on Tuesday concluding that online voter registration is permitted by state law.

    The opinion comes as a response to a request sent from Suffolk County to the Attorney General’s office in February for advice on whether implementing online registration, including the use of electronically handwritten signatures, would be allowed under state election law.

    Schneiderman’s go-ahead to

    ...
  • As Problems Persist, City Council to Examine Board of Elections

    bdb voting

    Mayor de Blasio voting (via The Mayor's Office @BilldeBlasio)


    On Tuesday, April 19, thousands of New Yorkers cried foul about how the city was running the state’s most consequential presidential primary elections in decades. Polling sites opened late. Ballot scanners failed. About 125,000 Democratic voters were purged from the Brooklyn rolls while others found their party affiliation had inexplicably changed. While many pointed to what is seen as typical city Board of Elections dysfunction, complaints from across the city prompted a strong official response.

    ...
  • There's a Long List of Voting Reforms New York Can Pass

    voting AG april 2016 

    AG Schneiderman votes (photo via @AGSchneiderman)


    Voter participation has been on the decline across the country for decades now, but is especially poor in New York, where only 29 percent of those eligible cast their votes in the 2014 general elections for state-level positions, including Governor. Whether you measure by eligible or registered

    ...
  • Assembly Announces Internal Reform Plan to Mixed Reviews

    heastie cuomo reporters

    Assembly Speaker Heastie (photo via The Governor's Office)


    On Thursday afternoon - after session, at the end of Sunshine Week - the Assembly's year-long path to greater transparency and participation took a major step as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced recommendations made by his reform committee and pledged to enact them.

    The proposals - some actual rules changes, others pledges - are designed to empower members through the committee process

    ...
  • Assembly Reform Group Nears Release of 49-Recommendation Report

    Heastie laughing

    Assembly Speaker Heastie photo: (Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    The long wait for recommendations from a group of Democrats charged with finding ways to improve the transparency and democratization of the state Assembly may soon be over. According to Assembly Member Gary Pretlow, co-chair of The Assembly Working Group on Operations, Participation and Transparency, the release of a 49-point report is imminent.

    Pretlow told Gotham Gazette that the the committee's report will be made available after a press release is written

    ...
  • Assembly Democrats Reject Republican Rules Changes, Promise Own Proposals Soon

    kolb malliotakis

    Assembly Minority Leader Kolb and colleagues (photo via @NMalliotakis)


    A majority of Democrats in the New York State Assembly voted down a series of 13 rules changes proposed by their Republican counterparts designed to make the chamber more equitable and allow members of the minority to get their bills to a vote.

    While a push for rules changes led by Republican Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and their defeat by Assembly Democrats has become an annual Albany

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Thanksgiving week will see just a few days of political activity, but the beginning of the week is looking busy. Highlights include closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial; the continuation of Dean Skelos' corruption trial; the release of the Public Advocate's "worst landlord list"; several City Council hearings and a full-body "Stated Meeting"; two public meetings of the city's ...

  • Overwhelmingly Passed Again by Assembly, Bill to Close LLC Loophole Appears Iced by Senate

    squadron podium

    Sen. Daniel Squadron (photo: @DanielSquadron)


    On Tuesday the state Assembly passed a bill to close the controversial LLC loophole at the center of the federal corruption cases against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Both men - a Democrat and a Republican, respectively - were recently arrested and subsequently stepped down from their powerful leadership posts. Later in the evening Tuesday, the Senate’s version of the bill to close the loophole that allows money

    ...
  • For 'A Better New York,' Activists Lobby Albany for Election Reform

    nyc votes Albany

    Activists in Albany (photo: @NYCVotes)


    On a crisp Wednesday morning, two buses pulled up outside the New York State Capitol in Albany. Their cargo: a delegation of about 100 students, volunteers, and good government activists who travelled from New York City to advocate for voting reform.

    It was the second annual "Vote Better NY" Advocacy Day for Election Reform organized by NYC Votes, a non-partisan voter engagement initiative run by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance

    ...