Reforming Albany, Step 1: Get on the Ballot
Time to storm the capitol.
If you know someone who believes in livable streets and is pondering a run for office, here’s an encouraging piece of information: It only take 500 signatures to get on the Democratic primary ballot for a State Assembly seat.
The signature requirements [PDF] are posted on the Board of Elections web site, along with the 2008 political calendar [PDF]. The second page of the calendar has a handy set of deadlines for "becoming a candidate." Those 500 signatures have to be submitted by July 10th, according to our reading (we put a request in to the Board of Elections to confirm). The calendar also lists signature requirements for candidates running for City Council (900) and State Senate (1000).
In New York City the Democratic primary is, of course, where most of the action takes place. The primaries will be held on Tuesday, September 9th, and State Assembly and Senate seats are up for grabs this year. Deborah Glick, Hakeem Jeffries, and Joan Millman, among other legislators who failed to support congestion pricing when it mattered, are currently running unopposed, according to Gotham Gazette’s "Who’s Running for What?" feature. State Assembly incumbents are notoriously difficult to unseat. It’ll be hard work and expensive and will probably take more than one election campaign. But first, collecting those 500 signatures will make them a little less comfortable in Albany — and it could be enough to get the backing of the New York Times.