Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation are committed to reforming New York City and State government by fostering accountability, accessibility, transparency, honesty and the highest ethical standards. Always nonpartisan, since 1897, we have devoted ourselves to holding our government accountable and the enfranchisement of all New Yorkers.
Our Most Recent Press Releases
Citizens Union Calls for Ranked Choice Voting To Go Ahead as Planned in 2021 Elections
Citizens Union, issues the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to calls to suspend the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting: “Last fall, over 73 percent of New York City voters voted to approve Ranked Choice Voting. This reform will foster more positive, issue-focused campaigns, give voters more choice, ensure that elected officials are accountable to a broader spectrum of their constituents and avoid costly, time consuming and unnecessary runoff elections.”
Read the full statement here
Statement from Former NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum on the Passing of Mayor David Dinkins
Betsy Gotbaum, Former NYC Public Advocate and current Executive Director of Citizens Union issues the following statement on the passing of Mayor David Dinkins: “With the passing of David Dinkins, we have lost an iconic New Yorker and a giant of our city’s public life. Mayor Dinkins was elected as New York’s first Black Mayor at a difficult time, and his administration set our city on the path to an era of prosperity and growth.”
Read the full statement here
Citizens Union Announces Historic Endorsement of Joe Biden for President
For the First Time in the Organizations 120 Year History, Citizens Union Issues Preference in Race for President. Good Government Group Also Issues Preferences for Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assembly Members Mathylde Frontus and Rebecca Seawright, and Brandon Patterson for an Open Assembly Seat in Staten Island and Brooklyn.
To view Citizens Union’s nonpartisan online voter guide, click here
Statement from Betsy Gotbaum on Passing of Former First Lady Joyce Dinkins
Statement from Betsy Gotbaum of Citizens Union on Reports of New Yorkers being sent incorrect absentee ballots
Statement on Behalf of Citizens Union from Randy Mastro, Citizens Union’s chair
Statement from Citizens Union Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum on the Passing of Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman
Citizens Union Foundation Launches Nonpartisan Voter Education Campaign in Advance of the 2021 New York City Elections
Trump’s Memorandum Excluding Immigrants from Being Counted in 2020 Census
With Voter Registration Brought to a Standstill Due to COVID-19, Citizens Union Calls for the State to Allow Online Voter Registration in New York City
Citizens Union Announces Candidate Preferences in June Elections
Statement on Behalf of Citizens Union From Randy Mastro, Citizens Union’s Chair
Spring for Reform: A VIRTUAL Event, Wednesday, May 13th from 7-8 PM
Citizens Union Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Announcement of Executive Order on Absentee Voting
Citizens Union Reacts to Publicly Financed Elections Being Included in State Budget
Statement from Citizens Union on the Passing of Father Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Founding Chair, New York City Campaign Finance Board
Citizens Union Reacts to Postponement of April Primary Elections
Wondering what happens to the 2020 Census amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
Reformers Urge NY Government to Adopt New Measures to Do the People’s Business
Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak, Citizens Union Calls on Legislature and Board of Elections to Take Steps to Ensure 2020 Elections Run Smoothly
Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum, urging the New York State Legislature and Board of Elections to take measures to ensure the 2020 elections in New York State run smoothly, while protecting public health and reducing community transmission of COVID-19.
As New York Tackles Coronavirus Outbreak, Citizens Union Urges New Yorkers Not to Forget to Fill Out Census Forms
As the world grapples with how to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and New Yorkers are encouraged to practice social distancing, Citizens Union, New York’s preeminent nonpartisan good government group, encouraged New Yorkers to remember to complete the 2020 census.
Citizens Union Applauds State Supreme Court for Ruling Public Campaign Financing and Election Commission Unconstitutional
“Citizens Union is delighted that the State Supreme Court has ruled the Public Campaign Financing and Election Commission unconstitutional, and sincerely hopes that this ruling serves as the catalyst for true campaign finance reform that empowers everyday New Yorkers and addresses the culture of corruption in Albany.”
Statement of Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union
A cornerstone of our republic has always been a justice system committed to fairness, honesty and integrity. The rule of law is only as strong as the dedicated men and women who enforce it on our behalf in the U.S. Justice Department. But now, their work is under political attack by a President who thinks it appropriate to call for the prosecution of his political enemies and the protection of his political allies. If we are to keep our republic, this latest affront to our democracy cannot go unchecked and unchallenged.
Citizens Union Applauds Senate for Passing Automatic Voter Registration and On-Campus Polling Site Bills
We have issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum applauding the Senate for passing Automatic Voter Registration and on-campus polling site bills
Citizens Union Calls on Legislature to Reject Down Proposals Put Forth by the New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission
We urge the State Legislature to reconvene and reject proposals put forth by the New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission
Citizens Union Applauds Governor Cuomo for Allocating Funding to Count Every New Yorker in the 2020 Census
We thank Governor Cuomo for this funding that will help ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the 2020 census. The census will determine—for the next 10 years—federal funding for such programs as food assistance to needy families, early childhood education for low-income children and maintenance for our bridges and roads, as well as the number of congressional seats and electoral college votes the state has.
Citizens Union Celebrates Passing of Ranked Choice Voting and Reforms to the Civilian Complaint Review Board
We’re pleased that New York City voters have embraced reforms to make our city elections more democratic, and increase oversight of the police department.
New York Implements Early Voting, Long Championed By Citizens Union
Thanks to the advocacy of Citizens Union, this fall New York becomes the 38th state to implement early voting. We applaud the State legislature and governor for passing this important reform, and the mayor for funding early voting in the city budget.
Citizens Union Endorses Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate; Melinda Katz for Queens District Attorney
After undertaking a rigorous evaluation of candidates running in the upcoming elections for New York City Public Advocate and Queens District Attorney, Citizens Union, New York’s preeminent nonpartisan good government groups today announced its endorsements of Jumaane Williams and Melinda Katz.
Citizens Union Announces Positions On Ballot Proposals For 2019 General Election
Citizens Union Board Chair Randy Mastro and Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum today announced Citizens Union’s recommendations on five proposals New York City voters will see on their ballots in this November’s election, or starting October 26 for those New Yorkers taking advantage of early voting.
Statement from Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union
Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union, has issued the following statement on behalf of Citizens Union on recent events in Washington:
For the past 125 years, Citizens Union has sounded a clarion call for good government in New York, holding state and local officials accountable for their actions. But of late, we have also had to speak up for the first time in our history about events unfolding in Washington that are so troubling they compel people of conscience to call them out. Sadly, now is once again such a time.
Citizens Union Applauds Charter Revision Commission for Putting Ranked Choice Voting, CCRB Reforms on November Ballot
“While this fall’s elections may be an afterthought to some, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to reform the City Charter by voting on ballot proposals that cover several important issues. Voters will have the opportunity to make our city elections more democratic and increase oversight of the police department.”
“Citizens Union is pleased that the Charter Revision Commission has heard our recommendations and will allow New Yorkers to vote to bring Ranked Choice Voting to city elections, reform the Civilian Complaint Review Board and provide a minimum budget for the Public Advocate and Borough Presidents. We have advocated for all of these reforms in a number of different fora, and look forward to spending the next few months educating New Yorkers about these proposals to ensure we have robust voter turnout in November.”