New Yorkers: Tomorrow Your Vote Really Counts!

lever_voting_machine.jpgIf you live in New York City you’ve probably been conditioned to believe your vote doesn’t count all that much. Fundraising and media appearances aside, presidential campaigns mostly ignore New York while the Electoral College ensures that the votes of people who live in places like North Dakota and Wyoming are nearly three times more valuable than our own. Every once in a while we see a contested Congressional race but even the most shockingly useless incumbents are impossible to get rid of. U.S. Senators, these days, are machine-picked like non-organic industrial produce. And in the New York state legislature, incumbents are re-elected more than 90 percent of the time. Assembly Members and State Senators leave office in handcuffs and pine boxes.

But once every eight years a New York City resident’s vote really, truly matters in a big way. Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15, is that day.

Thanks to the remnants of New York City’s term-limits law, the vagaries of our one-party system, and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau finally relinquishing office after 35 years, your single, individual vote carries disproportionate influence. Hotly contested, multi-candidate City Council seats will be won with as few as 5,000 or 6,000 votes. That’s it. That’s all it takes to win the job. Since the general election mostly doesn’t matter in the Democrat-controlled Council, the person who is likely to represent you from January 1, 2010 through the end of 2017 will be selected tomorrow by just a few thousand Democratic primary voters. Why not be one of them?

  • IsaacB

    Funny thing about Skaller. His Yiddish-language ads in Borough Park promise to fight against traffic and sanitation ticket blitzes. In other words, he’ll use the power of his office to reward quality of life violators at the expense of his constituents.

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  • Norman Siegel defended the first amendment rights of the cyclists arrested at the 2004 Republican National Convention. His answers in the TA survey are spot-on: more bike lanes, car-free parks, bike storage in buildings, reinforcing right to the road for cyclists. He made his career as a lawyer helping out the little guy. I’m with him all the way.

    Ken Mitchell and Debi Rose seem like six for one, half dozen for the other as far as Staten Island’s District 49 is concerned–but Mitchell’s for building more roads, while Rose at least wants to re-open the North Shore Rail and expand bus service.

  • vnm

    Thanks S’blog. This is a very informative and useful post. I’d been weighing Melinda Katz versus David Yassky, but this clinches it for Yassky. With apologies to Norm Siegel, I’m also definitely voting for De Blasio as the most likely to force a runoff against The Machine.

  • mike

    you realize gioia has advocated relentlessly on safe routes to schools, bike lanes, voted for congestion pricing, has been a huge advocate of green spaces, and many other issues that us streetsbloggers care about, right? De Blasio had a chance to vote on the most important green/congestion issue and he pandered to a non-existent base because he was running for borough president.

  • vnm

    Good points Mike. I was disappointed with Gioia for resorting to a standard hack-like position by holding a press conference to suggest that if only the MTA would sell the building that houses its administrative headquarters, there wouldn’t be a fare hike! However, you raise good points. I may need to rethink this . . .

  • yeah, you must have known a different Bill de Blasio than the one I’ve seen the last two years.

    Gioia showed guts voting for Congestion Pricing. He’s earned my vote!

  • simon

    Bill DeBlasio voted against Congestion Pricing. Eric Goia voted for it. I second Mike’s point – I can’t believe Streets Blog would endorse an opponent of one of the most important transportation issues of our day. Otherwise thanks for laying out the issues that I care about. I am finding your other endorsements very helpful.

  • Anonymouse

    OK, I’m a regular Streetsblog poster who’s gone under cover because I may have to work with some of these people at some point.

    De Blasio? Really? I bet the honking thing was the last time he took a position that gibed with yours, as well as the first. Norman Siegel would be a far better choice, and if you don’t think he can win — and that’s a sad reason not to vote for someone — Gioia has better livable streets cred than de Blasio.

  • Clarence Eckerson

    So who you voting for in Brooklyn Boro President?

  • Clarence Eckerson for Brooklyn Borough President.

  • I’m writing in Elvis again this year.

  • curly

    I am definitely voting for Marty.

    Barfowitz, that is! Ha ha!

  • Williamsburger

    Jo Anne Simon is the best livable streets candidate for D33. Jo Anne definitely supports CP, but has a reasonable level of precaution. I think she’s the winner because, unlike Evan, Jo Anne could bring more Brooklyn colleagues along. She’s articulate on the issues and can commnunicate with a broader audience than the other contenders. Let’s remind ourselves that the CNYF didn’t win congestion pricing–and how this policy was perceived had a lot to do with it.

  • Greenpointer

    I think where there are “community” issues with bike lanes or other projects Joanne will come down on the side of studying to death and inaction rather than implementation.

  • Camille Hyatt

    “tis a sad world we live in when we don’t research our candidates, their accomplishments, and their poor record. You would vote for Tish James if you lived in that district? I think not, you would truly be disgusted by her duplicity, her catering to embedded power brokers, her inability to work with the police force to protect her community (Crown Hts / Clinton) , and the treatment she has shown to her own tenants. You’re right, she’ll probably win, she has her lethargic and indolent supporters. It’s truly unfortunate that she didn’t have any real contenders and we have to endure her babbling about pointless issues for the next freakin’ four years.

  • Josh

    Stupid question: How can I find out what time the polling place in my district closes? As far as I saw, it’s not on the information flyer I received, and I didn’t have time to go in before work this morning.

  • J. Mork

    In NYC

    Polling Places open 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.


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