Deepen and Strengthen Our Democracy

The one realm in American life where democracy supposedly rules is in our government. But in reality our system of voting and elections is dominated by corrupt party machines and moneyed interests who can buy politicians and policies. New voices and movements are fenced out, votes are routinely suppressed, and incumbency protection schemes make a mockery of democracy and competitive elections. It’s no wonder then that electoral participation—particularly in the state of New York—is abysmal, especially in the primaries that, in our deep blue city, effectively decide who is elected.

We support a series of reforms to increase participation and decrease the role of money in politics in order to truly enfranchise the working class.

Voting Rights

  • Fully fund the early voting plan passed by the state legislature in early 2019.

  • Expand the right to vote to those convicted of a crime. Being caught up in the barbaric criminal legal system is not a reason someone should lose their right to vote.

  • Expand the right to vote to non-citizens who are resident in the state. Immigrants have every right to determine the governance of the place they call home.

  • Declare Election Day a state holiday.

  • Enact no-fault absentee voting and election-day registration, then enact those policies, making the constitutional amendments necessary for their implementation.

  • Enact universal voter registration that draws on a wide range of agencies and government bodies to guarantee working-class New Yorkers are registered to vote.

  • Eliminate the advance party affiliation deadline in the short-term, aiming to do away with closed primaries altogether.

Money Out of Politics

  • Enact a public financing system for state elections, along the lines set out in the Fair Elections for New York memorandum.

  • Eliminate the ability of corporate entities, including limited liability companies (LLCs), to make political contributions.

  • Dramatically decrease New York’s sky-high political contribution limits.

  • Limit party spending on behalf of candidates, and in particular, forbid any party committee from supporting a candidate in a primary election of that party.

Election Design

  • Move towards multi-member districts and ultimately proportional representation as much as possible within the strictures of the Voting Rights Act, and away from first-past-the-post single-member districts that tend to create and reinforce two major political parties, to the detriment of new voices and movements. 

  • Create a truly independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission.

  • Abolish The New York State and New York CIty Boards of Elections, which are poster children for self-dealing major party control, and build new, nonpartisan institutions in their place that aim to serve and enfranchise all New York voters and candidates.

  • Substantially reform New York’s byzantine ballot access system to provide for easy routes to the ballot that don’t turn on outdated and major-party-protective rules.

  • Eliminate judicial conventions that select Supreme Court judicial candidates.

  • Require that New York City Community Board Members are exclusively elected by the people they serve.