Common Sense – Op-ed: No to non-citizens voting

January 30, 2020 JERRY KASSAR
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The progressive Democrats in the City Council never fail to show the world how little common sense they can muster. Just last week Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez introduced legislation that would allow non-citizens to vote in New York City municipal elections.

That means non-citizens could vote for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough presidents and city councilmembers. He was able to garner 22 equally common sense-lacking co-sponsors.

The mayor has not been warm to this idea in the past and even the City Council speaker has raised questions. In fact, there are a number of Democratic councilmembers, including Conservative Party-endorsed Kalman Yeger of Brooklyn and Bob Holden of Queens, who have expressed opposition, in addition to the small but visible contingent of GOP/Conservative members.

The five Conservative Party county organizations in the city, through their chairpeople, together with the state party, have issued a joint statement opposing the legislation. 

Devaluing the vote of citizens and a belief that this is no more than a back-door way of electing more progressives were two of the points stressed by the Conservative Party leaders.

Councilmember Yeger, always on point, said, “It’s not progressive to tell legal residents of the United States that citizenship has no value.”

Councilmember Holden stated, “I’m against any non-citizen voting. That’s our basic right that we’ve earned as citizens.”

You need 26 votes and a signature on a delivered bill from the mayor before something as far left as this proposal can become law.  Rodriguez is still a few supporters short. Readers should call their local councilmembers to express their thoughts.


The governor released his 2020/2021 budget last week. The hill he needs to climb before he has a spending document in place is overcoming what he is suggesting will be a $10 billion dollar deficit — up for this upcoming fiscal year from $6.1 billion. 

To accomplish this goal, he is proposing a number of cuts that lack the detail that will be necessary before the legislature is likely to sign off.  He is also proposing what he calls several hundred million dollars’ worth of revenue enhancements (new taxes, fees and the like) as well as one-shots, which just kick the problem down the road.

Once again, the governor is using the budget to push a number of non- budgetary items such as the legalization of recreational marijuana, commissions that effectively will be doing the job of the legislature and even revisions in the birth surrogacy laws. Last year, he used the budget to give us a plastic bag ban and the much-maligned criminal justice reforms.

Cuomo has governed now for nine years. He owns the budget, our state’s economy and what comes next, at least for now.

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