The Fair Elections for New York campaign is coming together to relaunch and demand once and for all that we significantly reduce the power of big money in our politics and bring the people back in. Let’s not miss this rare opportunity to rewrite the rules to make our government work for all New Yorkers. Doing so will dramatically increase the chances of victory on the issues we care most about. We invite you to join the below sign-on letter to Albany leaders demanding an overhaul of New York's voting and campaign finance systems as the first order of business in the 2019 New York Legislature, if Democrats win control of the Senate.
By filling out the form below we will add your name to the Fair Elections for New York campaign, the sign on letter below to launch the effort, invite you to coalition calls and keep you informed and engaged in the work ahead.
Governor Cuomo and Members of the New York State Legislature,
We write to urge you to make voting rights and comprehensive campaign finance reform, led by a system of public financing of elections, the first order of business in the 2019 New York State Legislative Session.
The need for an overhaul of New York’s voting and campaign financing system is apparent and well documented. It is inherently inequitable, unfair and allows an exorbitant amount of power to be concentrated in the hands of the very few wealthy and well-connected. This is at the great expense of every day New Yorkers, and even more so for low-income and people of color, who face daily crises around housing, education, health, transportation, a racist criminal justice system, and poor working conditions.
The point is, the policies we care most about are at a consistent disadvantage in our state’s political process, when facing well-heeled opposition. A small minority of ultra-wealthy interests are doing all they can across the country -- in state legislatures and in the courts -- to weaken rules that support democracy and collective action, and strengthen rules that protect property interests above all else, including the desires of the majority of people. This is a national crisis, and New York State can be a leader in stopping it. It is with this in mind that we are coming together now, with a unified voice, to be very clear about our collective request to make strengthening democracy in New York State -- both voting reform and public financing of elections -- your top priority early in 2019.
The solutions we propose are well known. They are the same recommendations of the Moreland Commission of 2013, and similar to proposals Governor Cuomo, Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie have sponsored or introduced over the years. They include:
-- A 6-1 small donor public financing system for all state races, including District Attorneys statewide, lower contributions limits, closing the LLC loophole and a functional, fair administrative agency, much like Connecticut’s Citizens Elections Program. -- A voting rights package that includes, but is not limited to: enfranchisement of people on parole into law; automatic voter registration; early voting; same day registration (amendment); and pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds.
Early 2019 enactment of these critical, foundational reforms that would change the way Albany operates can and should be the first of many sizable victories for the people of New York under new leadership. We are thankful that many of you each have publicly supported these reforms in the past, and equally thankful that there is no longer anything standing in the way of making them a reality. We look forward to working closely with you to enact a democracy package that can be the gold standard for the rest of the nation.