LID's 2019 Charter Revision Proposal Endorsements
LID members gathered at the September meeting to debate, discuss and endorse the 2019 Charter Revision Proposals, which are to be voted on by NYC residents on November 5.
After hearing from Council Member Brad Lander and Kicy Motley of Common Cause NY, LID members voted as follows:
Question 1 Elections: VOTE YES
Ranked choice voting works. It streamlines elections. Many voters have more than one preference in multi-candidate primaries, and allowing them to rank their choices provides an incentive to vote, increasing voter turnout and civic engagement.
Question 2 Civilian Complaint Review Board: VOTE YES
If given teeth, the CCRB could make a real difference in providing real oversight and accountability over police misconduct, currently largely self-policed by NYPD. This proposal provides baby teeth by increasing its size and diversifying its members’ appointments, requiring funding increases and allowing the CCRB to investigate the truthfulness of police officers’ testimony. But the amendments still allow the Police Commissioner to ignore CCRB’s decisions, despite now requiring the PC to provide a rationale.
If NYC is to change the culture of policing, the Charter Review Commission needs to take it upon itself to do so.
Question 3 Ethics and Government: VOTE YES
For years, high-level civil servants and political appointees have easily been able to “cash in” on their former jobs, entering high paid lobbying positions soon after departure from city service. This proposal would extend the time before appointees are able to lobby or appear before their former agencies from one to two years, making such “revolving door” positions less lucrative and reducing the potential for the influence of high-dollar special interests.
Question 4 City Government: VOTE NO
Though increasing the Public Advocate’s budget would give it real oversight powers, this proposal would have a negative impact on City agencies’ ability to make necessary short-term financial decisions that are critical to serving the ever-changing needs of our city.
The state budget, which dictates a significant amount of the revenue flowing to NYC, is typically passed by April 1. Requiring the Mayor to submit the City’s non-tax revenue estimates within just 26 days, instead of the current 2 month period to do so, restrict’s the budget office’s ability to undertake data-driven research to drive a deliberative decision-making process and provide the Council with thoroughly adequate information. Instead, forcing the budget office to provide inadequately analyzed numbers will result in more financial turmoil for the city down the road. Despite the new rule’s grace period, the political pressure to submit estimates by April 26 will still result in ill-informed numbers. We recommend voters reject this proposal.
Question 5 Land Use: VOTE YES
The CRC should be asked to re-address this proposal next year in order to make meaningful change to New York City’s land-use process. For years, crumbling infrastructure, blackouts, overcrowded prisons and more have laid bare the lack of long-term strategic land use planning in our city.
As it stands, the city’s central planning process, the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) is a piecemeal, project -by-project, neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach that responds to present needs only. Ultimately, each process is reduced to a tug of war between pro-development and anti-development forces, resulting in either a detested project or no project - with neither result proposing a long-term plan to address housing and other infrastructure needs, including future climate change.
Though failing to address this problem, this proposal is still worth adopting. Giving the Borough Presidents, Borough Board and Community Boards more time to review the projects is a helpful start toward accomplishing the above long-term change.
For a full description of each proposal, please go to: https://www.charter2019.nyc/proposals