Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Elections

Elections

  • WATCH: 15 Minutes with Public Advocate Candidate Devin Balkind

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    Public Advocate candidate Devin Balkind talks with Ben Max on MNN (photo: @MNN59)


    The race for New York City Public Advocate is one of the few elections on the ballot this fall, and it's only happening because former Public Advocate Letitia James was elected New York Attorney General, leading to a special election in February to replace her for the duration of this year, followed by an election this fall to see who will hold the citywide position for 2020 and 2021. Then-City Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat like James, won the February election by a wide margin in a

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  • De Blasio Dodges Questions About His Stance on Ballot Proposals

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    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio is dodging questions about his position on a series of ballot referenda that propose changes to city elections and governance. In two interviews Friday and Monday, the mayor avoided giving any specifics when asked repeatedly to discuss the proposed amendments to the city charter, all of which impact city services and administration, and he refused to say how he voted on them.

    The ballot this year has ...

  • Amid Another Poorly-Run Election, Top New York Officials Point Fingers, Offer Plans, or Say Nothing

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    Mayor de Blasio on line to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Hours-long lines for early voting in New York City have become the latest fodder for New York’s highest elected officials to renew calls to overhaul the New York City Board of Elections. The general request comes from some government leaders every election cycle but has never been followed with action by those in power and there is little indication that this time will be different.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, three of the

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  • Do New Yorkers Know About the Ballot Questions They Can Answer This Fall?

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    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    Just seven people trickled in from the rain to attend the information session in the Lower Gallery of the Bronx Museum of the Arts last Wednesday night. Despite the low turnout, the small group has the potential to reach dozens or even hundreds more people because most of those who attended represented organizations. They had come to the museum that night to gather information to bring back to their members about the proposals that will be on this year’s ballot, whereby voters will approve or disapprove 19 changes to New York City governance and

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: The Candidates for Public Advocate

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    l-r: Jumaane Williams, Joe Borelli, and Devin Balkind (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    October 21, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Candidates for Public Advocate

    Jumaane Williams, Joseph Borelli, Devin Balkind

    There's an election for New York City Public Advocate this fall, and just ahead of the October 26 start of early voting and Election Day,

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  • In Public Advocate Race, Three Very Different Visions for the Office

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    l-r: Devin Balkind, Jumaane Williams & Joseph Borelli


    One of the few seats on the ballot this fall involves a citywide race, with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams defending his seat against two challengers in order to serve the remainder of the term, which runs through 2021, after he won a February special election. While the three candidates running have very different backgrounds and visions for the job of public advocate, Williams’ opponents, Republican City Council Member Joe Borelli and Libertarian Party nominee Devin Balkind, both concede that their chances of victory are slim and seem

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  • In Its First Year, Early Voting May Give Glimpse of Modern New York City Election

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Major changes are coming to the way New Yorkers cast ballots as the New York City Board of Elections prepares to roll out early voting for the first time later this month. In a sort of test-run during a very quiet election year, the Board will be opening up the polls for nine days leading up to Election Day and is taking the opportunity to pilot new technology that can make voting easier and more accessible.

    Throughout 2019 New York City elections administrators have had the immense

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  • As City Council Vote Nears, Leading Mayoral Contenders Clarify Positions on Jails Plan They May Have to Implement

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    De Blasio, Johnson, Ayala & others at Rikers announcement (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The plan to close the Rikers Island jails and replace them with four borough-based facilities has sped through the city’s land use process and is awaiting approval from the New York City Council, prompting both support and rebukes from criminal justice reform activists and those who prefer to keep most city detainees on the island. If it passes at the scheduled October 17 vote, full implementation of the plan will fall in the hands of a future mayor, perhaps two,

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  • Williams Challengers Fail to Qualify for Official Public Advocate Debate, But Candidates May Spar Anyway

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    l-r: Devin Balkind, Jumaane Williams and Joe Borelli (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, one of three citywide elected officials, is up for reelection this fall, but it looks like the Brooklyn Democrat won’t have to defend his (albeit short) tenure so far in a public forum with his two challengers. Neither Staten Island City Council Member Joe Borelli nor nonprofit leader Devin Balkind, the Republican and Libertarian nominees, respectively, seeking to unseat Williams, has qualified for the first of two official,

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  • City Launches Pilot Voter Guide for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing New Yorkers

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    the CFB models its new voter guide (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    New York City is home to more than 200,000 residents who are deaf and hard of hearing, and they almost never vote. It’s not for a lack of will, but rather because of inadequate access to information on voter registration and candidates, according to city officials. To address that gap, the city is launching its first-ever voter guide in American Sign Language, a long overdue measure to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing voters are able to participate in the city’s democratic

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  • How Vulnerable is Max Rose?

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    Rep. Max Rose (photo: @MaxRose4NY)


    Max Rose calls himself a “centrist populist.” The first-term Democrat who represents New York’s 11th congressional district, which spans across Staten Island and along the shore of Southern Brooklyn, appears set on trying to make that label stick, and in doing so earn a second term when voters head to the polls next year.

    Rose’s pitch and politics seem to match the district well: he’s a moderate, center-left politician and military veteran with a no-nonsense but affable and energetic personality. His mantra is serving constituents above political

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  • State Senator Brian Benjamin Explores Run for City Comptroller

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin, left, with Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    The 2021 primary for New York City Comptroller may be 21 months away, but there are already three declared Democratic candidates in the race, and another has now indicated he’s exploring a run. State Senator Brian Benjamin, who represents Upper Manhattan, announced on Thursday that he is testing the waters for a potential bid for comptroller and said he would explore over the next year, including a 2020 Senate reelection campaign, to see if his candidacy is

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  • New York's Election Administration Accountability Vacuum - Part II: Partisanship, Patronage & Potential Fixes

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: New York's Election Administration Accountability Vacuum: ‘Bad Choices at Every Step'

    New York City’s Board of Elections, the maligned ten-member commission responsible for overseeing the administration of voting in the five boroughs, has been the subject of criticism for decades owing to inefficiency and

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  • New York's Election Administration Accountability Vacuum - Part I: 'Bad Choices at Every Step'

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    NYC BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After each election cycle, New York elected officials, government insiders, and interested members of the press and public gather at City Hall and in other hearing rooms for a bit of political theater. The protagonist is the electorate, or the democratic process, itself; the one cast as villain is Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections, who is there to respond to questions about how voting went that year.

    “Mr. Ryan,

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  • Dates, Deadlines, Elections & Ballot Questions: Everything You Need to Know for Fall 2019 in New York City

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One out of every four years, there are few elections on the ballot in New York City, with almost no competitive races at the city or state level. Such is the case in 2019, the year after congressional, state legislative, and statewide races, and the year before the presidential, congressional, and state legislative races.

    But New Yorkers will this fall have the opportunity to vote on several ballot proposals that could make fundamental changes to the City Charter, the document that

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  • Eric Adams Plans to Put Public Health on the Menu in the Next Race for Mayor

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    Eric Adams with healthy food people (photo: @BPEricAdams)


    Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president since 2014, can always count on one place for good reviews: vegan magazines and websites.

    Forks Over Knives, an organization dedicated to plant-based diets, collaborated with Adams for a 2018 mini-documentary about his lifestyle. ...

  • ‘This Town Needs a Woman Mayor’: Alicia Glen Isn’t Ruling Out a 2021 Run

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    former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    While she insists she has no intention to run at this time, former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen is not ruling out a campaign to become New York City’s next mayor, and says the city needs a woman in charge after her former boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is term-limited out of office at the end of 2021.

    “Right now I have no plans to run for mayor because I think that the constant speculation about who’s running for mayor sort of distracts from what the real issue is,” she

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  • On Presidential Campaign Trail, De Blasio Promises Paid Vacation Law ‘This Year,’ But City Council Has No Timeline

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As he campaigns for president, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly said that “this year” the city will pass a mandate that most businesses provide employees with two weeks of paid personal time each year, but the City Council, which would have to pass such legislation, has not committed to the timeline the mayor is touting.

    De Blasio first announced his support for paid personal leave and said it would get done “this year” in his January ...

  • Charter Revision Commission Gives Final Approval to 19 Proposals in 5 Questions to Appear on Fall Ballot

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    (photo: Mihael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission held its final meeting at City Hall in July to officially approve the language of 19 ballot proposals that will be put before voters for the November 5 general election. (The commission dropped a proposal related to units of appropriation in the city budget, which had earlier been approved for inclusion.)

    The meeting concluded a year of

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  • Assemblymember David Weprin Plots City Comptroller Campaign

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    (photo: David Weprin for Comptroller, 2009)


    State Assemblymember David Weprin of Queens has officially filed papers to run for New York City Comptroller in 2021 and has been raising funds for the race for the last five months. He is the third Democrat to jump into the race, joining New York City Council Members Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan and Brad Lander of Brooklyn.

    The 2021 election is expected to be a herculean undertaking, with all

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  • Corey Johnson's Big Small-Dollar Bet

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    Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s expected mayoral campaign is based in part on a big small-dollar gamble.

    When Johnson announced in January that he was exploring a bid for mayor – he hasn’t made it official yet – he set a $250 limit on all campaign contributions, far below the maximum possible limit of $5,100. And though the latest campaign finance disclosures show him outpacing his three likely Democratic primary opponents in the number of donations he

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  • Campaigning for Congress, Torres Touts City Funding Secured for Development Outside Council District

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    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Bronx City Council Member Ritchie Torres is touting $3 million in city funding he secured for a residential complex that falls outside the Council district he represents, but within the Congressional district where he’s seeking votes.

    The money will go to Concourse Village, Inc., a nearly 1,900-unit housing cooperative located in the south Bronx, over a mile away from the border of Torres’ district. The second-term Democratic Council member is running for Congress in the primary that will

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Queens District Attorney Primary Heads to Recount

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    l-r: Tiffany Cabán (photo: @CabanForQueens); Melinda Katz (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    July 10, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: the Queens District Attorney Primary Heads to Recount

    juan manuel benitezThe Queens District Attorney Democratic primary is heading into a recount, and Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1 & NY1 Noticias, who has been covering the process closely, joined the show it all down, from the

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  • Scott Stringer Has a Plan for That

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    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has made no secret of his plans to run for mayor in 2021, when both he and Mayor Bill de Blasio will be term-limited out of their current positions. And the outline of his mayoral policy platform is already hiding in plain sight.

    After briefly entering the 2013 mayoral campaign before shifting to a first successful run for comptroller, Stringer has spent a long

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  • 20 Things Tiffany Cabán Promised To Do As Queens District Attorney

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    Tiffany Cabán and supporters (photo: Working Families Party)


    Public defender Tiffany Cabán, a self-described “31-year-old queer Latina” originally from Richmond Hill, appeared to pull off a stunning upset victory on Tuesday in the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney. If the counting of a few thousand absentee and other final ballots stays true to her roughly 1.5% margin over apparent second-place

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