Breakfast Briefing

September 29, 2003

Breakfast Briefing

Opposition to the Non-Partisan Elections Proposal

When: Thursday October 2, 2003
9:30 a.m.

Where: New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
9 Murray Street, 3rd Floor
(half a block west of City Hall between Broadway and Church Street)

What: A press briefing on opposition to the non-partisan elections proposal.

Few New Yorkers are aware of the fact that on November 4, they will be asked to make a decision that will significantly change the way they choose their representatives. New York City voters will be asked to choose between the current system of partisan elections and a non-partisan system for all City offices. The proposed system would involve two rounds of elections for each office: an open primary including all of the candidates on the ballot, and for the general election, a run-off between the top two candidates from the first round, regardless of party affiliation.

An overwhelming number of the groups involved in New York City politics and reform oppose this proposal. Criticism includes concerns that a non-partisan system will depress voter turnout, elevate the importance of money and fame, increase opportunities for extremist candidates, and decrease opportunities for minority office holders. In general, too little credible research exists on the topic to support such a substantial change to the system.

The Brennan Centers previous testimony on this issue can be found on our Website.

Presenters at the briefing will include representatives of good government groups, small political parties, and other advocates. A few panelists will make short, prepared remarks, and then the entire panel will be available for question and answers.

Breakfast will be served.

Who:

Deborah Goldberg, Brennan Center for Justice
Gene Russianoff, NYPIRG
Glenn Magpantay, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Dan Cantor, Working Families Party
Richard Davis, Citizens Union
Rachel Leon, Common Cause New York
Peter Kiernan, Association of the Bar of New York City

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Amanda Cooper at the Brennan Center for Justice at 212.998.6736.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. Our mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.