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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.

Fighting for reform, fighting for New York.


Our Most Recent Press Releases

Citizens Union Calls on the Charter Revision Commission Not to Propose Major Changes in Such a Rushed Timeline and to Prevent Future Charter Gamesmanship


June 17, 2024 – Citizens Union testified before the 2024 New York City Charter Commission’s Government and Election Reform Hearing. Throughout its 125-year history, Citizens Union has supported periodic comprehensive reviews of the New York City Charter absent a political agenda via the appointment of an independent Charter Revision Commission to ensure that city government is operating effectively, efficiently, and in the public’s best interest.

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Citizens Union Responds to Senate Passage of Bill to Move Local Elections to Even-Number Years, Excluding New York City


June 7, 2024 – Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to the State Senate passage of bill S9826 that would move local elections in New York State, excluding New York City to even-numbered years

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Citizens Union Responds to Poor Attendance at the First Public Meeting of the Hastily Planned Charter Revision Commission


June 6, 2024 – Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum following today’s first public meeting of the Charter Review Commission

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Citizens Union Responds to Governor Hochul’s Announcement on Congestion Pricing


June 5, 2024 – Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement that the implementation of Congestion Pricing will be delayed

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Advocates respond to last-minute attempts to exclude New York City from even-year election reform


June 4, 2024 – The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Brooklyn Voters Alliance, Citizens Union, Common Cause/NY, Disabled In Action of Metropolitan NY, Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance (DCPAA), New York Civic Engagement Table, Reinvent Albany, Stand Up America, Village Independent Democrats, and YVote issued the following joint statement in response to a bill introduced in the state legislature yesterday (S9826 Skoufis/A10538 Jacobson) that would move local elections throughout New York State, excluding New York City, to even-numbered years

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Statement from Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union, on the Conviction of Former President Donald Trump


May 31, 2024 – Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union, has issued the following statement on behalf of Citizens Union following the conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records

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Citizens Union urges the City Council not to rush through advice and consent expansion


May 28, 2024 – Citizens Union submitted a testimony today a in response to proposed legislation in the New York City Council that would expand the Council’s power over the appointment of commissioners. The bill, Intro. 908-2024 (Speaker Adams) would amend the City Charter to require the advice and consent of the City Council for 21 commissioner appointments.

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Voting Rights, Disability Rights, Civic, and Community Groups Support Bill to Move City Election to Even-Years


May 21, 2024 – Citizens Union, the Let NY Vote coalition, and two dozen advocacy groups signed on to a memo in support of S9126 (Skoufis), which would align city and other elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections. This change would strengthen our democracy by significantly increasing the number of people who vote for local offices and reducing racial and age-based gaps in voter participation.

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Watchdog Groups Call on Court of Appeals to Hear Ethics Commission Case


May 13, 2024 – Our groups, united in our belief that the law creating New York’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) is constitutional, are concerned that the alarming logic of the recent Appellate Court decision would create an imperial Governor who cannot be held accountable for defying the law – short of impeachment or the ballot box. This is a matter of upholding the principles of transparency and accountability in our government.

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Testimony before the City Council – oversight hearings on lobbying reform


April 19, 2024 – Testimony on bills regarding prohibitions lobbying in connection with campaign-related fundraising or political consulting, the city’s post-employment restrictions, and other proposed reforms in lobbying oversight and enforcement.

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Citizens Union and the Let NY Coalition calls Governor Hochul and Assembly Speaker Heastie to include election reform priorities in the 2024 state budget


March 22, 2024 –  Citizens joins the Let NY Vote coalition in a letter urging the Assembly and the Governor to join the Senate in ensuring legislation to establish he elections database and join ERIC remain in the final budget

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