The Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. But the Act as written is not always enforced and it needs champions to make sure every vote counts.
At a time when civil rights and voting rights are under attack in cities and states across the country, we need to be reminded of the continued need for action. I will make sure every New Yorker with a right to vote has that opportunity. We must do more to protect our civil rights, from voting rights to economic justice, from jobs to education, especially for those most at risk and disenfranchised. I will always reject efforts to take away our power, our voice and our vote.
As an Assemblyman, I am proud to have supported a package of bills which expanded early voting, pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, and closed the LLC loophole which allowed unlimited campaign contributions by concealing the identity of LLC stakeholders.
As Public Advocate, I will:
Modernize New York City’s Elections:
While we have achieved great success in New York state, we must keep the momentum by increasing voter protections in New York City. Enhancing the systems and processes of our elections is vitally important to develop trust between our citizens and their government. As Public Advocate, I will work to increase voter turnout by breaking down the barriers for candidates to run for office, illuminate the rules and regulations behind campaigns, and promote local civic participation.
Increase Local Civic Participation:
While the Mayor, City Council, and affiliated agencies are important to the governance of our city, as Public Advocate, I will heavily promote civic participation at the Community Board level. It is important for our neighbors, family, and friends to have their voices heard on issues that impact them directly.
Hold the Board of Elections Accountable to the New State Regulations:
Increasing both voter access and participation is necessary for our system of government to function. Therefore, we must hold our government entities accountable to new state legislation that requires notification of the time and place of elections, and the location of polling places. We must ensure that no potential voter is unable to cast their ballot due to misinformation or confusion.