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NYC’s ballot measures all receive decisive approval

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Campaign finance reform, civic engagement, and community board term limits were on the table

Max Touhey

Last night, New Yorkers gave a decisive “yes” vote to three ballot proposals that came from the city’s Charter Review Commission, all of which seek to give city residents more say in the city’s various democratic processes.

The three proposals—to lower the amount of campaign finance contributions one candidate can receive, to establish a Civic Engagement Commission, and to impose term limits on community board members—all passed with more than 60 percent of the vote.

As we previously reported, the initiatives were part of the Charter Revision Commission process, which sought public input on how the city’s rulebook might be amended:

[D]uring a series of public meetings, the [Charter Review Commission] fielded suggestions from stakeholders, city residents, and elected officials. It issued its final report in September, with three recommendations for ballot measures: revamping the city’s campaign finance rules, creating a civic engagement commission, and enforcing term limits for community boards.

The most divisive of these was Proposal 3, which would impose modest term limits on members of New York City’s community boards; the measure ultimately passed with 72 percent of voters saying “yes.”

In other election news, the blue wave hit New York’s state Senate last night: Several Republican officials were unseated by Democratic upstarts, turning the governing body blue for the first time in a decade. One of the biggest upsets came from Staten Island, where Army vet and Democratic challenger Max Rose defeated longtime senator Dan Donovan for his seat.

One race that has yet to be officially decided is in Bay Ridge, where Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes is looking to unseat the incumbent Republican, Marty Golden. As of this writing, Gounardes has a slim lead, and Golden has yet to concede.

In the big races, Democrats also held on: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli all won their seats once again. New York City public advocate Letitia James will be the state’s next attorney general.