FLIP YOUR BALLOT: An Election Day guide to city charter revisions
This coming election day, remember to flip your ballot. The back of the ballot this year contains three proposed revisions to the City Charter that, if enacted, would change the way city government operates.
Proposal 1: Campaign Finance
This proposal would lower the amount of money a candidate for a seat in city government is allowed to accept from any contributor. It would also increase the public funds a participating candidate can receive from the city’s program, which matches a portion of contributions the candidate receives, and would make those matching funds available earlier in the election year to candidates who demonstrate the need for such funding.
Candidates running for office before the 2021 primary election would be able to choose whether or not to apply the amendments to their campaign.
Proposal 2: Civic Engagement Commission
This proposal calls for the creation of a Civic Engagement Commission, under the jurisdiction of the mayor, which would encourage residents to give input for projects in their communities by creating a participatory budgeting system and partnering with community-based organizations.
The commission would be under the jurisdiction of the mayor, who would appoint a commission chairperson and assign relevant powers and duties of certain agencies to the commission. The rest of the members would be appointed through appointments from the mayor, the City Council speaker and the borough presidents.
Proposal #3: Community Boards
This proposal would place a limit on the number of terms community board members are able to serve. Community board members work on a volunteer basis, appointed by borough presidents with input from City Council members every two years. Currently, there is no limit on the number of two-year terms they can serve. Their main function is to advise city agencies on land use matters, among other issues, from the perspective of the neighborhood. There are 59 community boards in New York City, including 18 in Brooklyn.
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