Former NYC Charter Commission Chairs Meet

Monday, May 17, 2010

Former chairs of the New York City Charter Revision Commissions are meeting tonight. They'll offer their insights to the current Charter Revision panel about how best to reform City government.

The Charter Revision Commission is considering what issue to take up first. Dick Dadey with Citizens Union Foundation, a good government group, thinks it should be open to non-partisan elections to help turn around declining voter participation. "So that maybe you have ten candidates of differing parties and then the top two get to move on to the general election," Dadey told WNYC.

But others say the existing political party based primary process encourages grass roots participation. Dan Cantor with the Working Families Party says party affiliation helps voters get a sense of what a candidate stands for. And he says without parties the electoral process is skewed to the privileged. "What it really does is increases the advantage that people with high name recognition and high personal wealth, it increases the advantages they already have," Cantor said.

In 2003, Mayor Bloomberg's push for non-partisan elections failed with voters.

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