What is NYC voting on?
On June 22, New York City is voting in what is widely discussed as “the Mayoral Election,” however NYC is voting on much more than who becomes mayor. This election isn’t even the final vote for mayor, it’s the primary election but Democrats historically win in New York City so the Democratic primary for many of these positions is the endpoint for most campaigns.
Hot 97 wanted to create an election guide to run New Yorkers through all of the elected positions up for grabs.
With less than a month until the primary, the Democratic candidates in the race for Mayor are: Eric Adams, Art Chang, Aaron Foldenaur, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Raymond J. McGuire, Paperboy Love Prince, Dianne Morales, Joycelyn Taylor, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Isaac Wright Jr., and Andrew Yang.
But what exactly does a Mayor do? It’s the Mayor’s responsibility to prepare the City’s annual budgets and financial plans, as well as manage the City’s relationship with federal, state, and local government entities. The Mayor operates as the Chief Executive for the City, with the ability to propose laws, manage agencies, oversee zoning, and work in conjunction with City Council.
Three weeks away from the election, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia is leading narrowly in the Emerson poll just ahead of Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, and Andrew Yang.
A Comptroller’s job is to prepare audits and oversee the spending of government agencies.
The New York City Comptroller is responsible for overseeing the City’s $253 billion public pension fund, providing oversight of the City’s budget and fiscal condition, as well as reviewing City contracts for integrity and fiscal compliance.
The office of the comptroller is large, with more than 800 employees who are primarily financial experts and analysts.
Democrats running for comptroller include: Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Michele Caruso-Cabrera, Brian Benjamin, Zachary Iscol, Terri Liftin, Alex K. Pan, Reshma Patel, Kevin Parker, and David Weprin. Along with Republican Daby Carreras, and Conservative Party nominee Paul Rodriguez.
The New York City Public Advocate is a multi-faceted position with a unique set of responsibilities. Weirdly enough, if the Mayor is assassinated or resigns the Public Advocate is next in line to become Mayor.
The Public Advocate’s job is reflective of its title, they oversee complaints from New Yorkers about a variety of issues. If New Yorkers are angry about city programs, government agencies, landlords, or any particular social issue – the Public Advocate can apply pressure to the rest of the government.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was the Public Advocate before becoming mayor. The Public Advocate race is made up of rather unique candidates.
NYC City Council
Roughly 300 candidates are running for city council in the five boroughs of New York City. All 51 seats in the New York City legislature are up for grabs, some races have more than 10 candidates running. Whether you’re in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island – identify who’s running in your local election.
Each member of the City Council represents a specific council district, their job is to propose and vote on legislation that is then accepted or denied by the Mayor.
Similar to City Council, all five Boroughs have races for Borough President. The job of a borough president is similar to that of a low-level monarch, the position is highly representative.
Borough Presidents can exercise soft power, make legislative suggestions, and work as boosters for their borough. The politicians elected to be borough presidents function as mascots with the ability to approve bike lanes. Look into whose running in your borough to affect who represents you.
Manhattan & Brooklyn District Attorney
Weirdly, no one is challenging Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez for his position as the top cop in Kings County. Gonzalez has been in the position since 2017, which he won in a landslide victory.
The Manhattan District Attorney race however, consists of nine different candidates.
A district attorney is the top prosecutor for any given area, they lead investigations and prosecutions with specialized units. The DA’s office often has more freedom than traditional law enforcement.
The Manhattan DA’s office has been heavily involved with investigating alleged financial crimes carried out by the previous President, whoever is elected as the next DA will likely be weathering that storm.
The Manhattan DA race is not using the newly established ranked-choice voting system, voters will make one lone choice for DA.
Rather than selecting one candidate that you’d prefer to be the next Mayor or Comptroller, voters will rank the candidates based on who they’d most prefer to be the next Mayor or Comptroller. Meaning that if there is more than one candidate who you think would do a good job, you can still support them by voting for them as your second, third, fourth, or fifth option.
The decision to switch to ranked choice voting was decided by NYC voters in a 2019 ballot measure that passed by more than 70%. Voters in the Bronx and Queens have already used ranked choice voting in special City Council elections.
The NYC Civic Engagement Commission explains: “You can rank up to five candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. If a candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, they are the winner. If no candidate earns more than 50% of first-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds. At the end of each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated. If you ranked that candidate first, your vote will go to the next highest ranked candidate on your ballot. This process will continue until there are 2 candidates left. The candidate with the most votes wins.”
This means that NYC voters are able to support up to five mayoral candidates in the June 22nd Election. Read up on all the local candidates running in your district to make an informed decision on who best represents your beliefs on June 22.