February 1, 2023 - Citizens Union has issued to following statement from executive director Betsy Gotbaum in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s FY2024 executive budget, which was released earlier today
Statement from Citizens Union on the Nomination Process of the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
January 30, 2023 - Citizens Union has issued to following statement from Board Chair Randy Mastro in response to the recent nomination process of a Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
January 27, 2023 - Citizens Union issued a report outlining the benefits of moving New York City’s municipal elections to even-numbered years. This move would bring elections for city offices in line with gubernatorial or presidential elections. Municipal elections in New York City, which are currently held in odd-numbered years, have consistently seen lower voter turnout than elections held in even-numbered years. Consolidating municipal elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections will increase voter turnout, giving more New Yorkers a say over who governs them at the local level.
Citizens Union Responds to Senate Passage of Legislation to Reform the Operations of New York’s Local Boards of Elections
January 10, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum following the passage of a package of legislation to reform the operations of New York’s local boards of elections by expanding voting rights and reforming our election system
December 20, 2022 - Legislative leaders introduced a bill late last night giving hefty raises to the next state legislature. The leaders are proposing base salaries of $142,000 starting January 1, 2023, with a limit on outside income of $35,000 beginning in 2025 (about 25% of the increased salary).
December 19, 2022 - Citizens Union joined more than a dozen transparency and disability groups in calling the legislative leaders pass new rules that ensure that all public meetings in the Legislature are webcast. Due to changes in the Open Meetings Law (OML) approved by the Legislature in April, if the Senate and Assembly intend to use videoconferencing to allow members to participate remotely in public meetings, they must adopt a one-time joint resolution after a public hearing to authorize videoconferencing.
Citizens Union, other good government groups demand Council hold hearings to vet Board of Elections nominee
December 19, 2022 -- Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NYPIRG and Reinvent Albany have sent a letter to NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Keith Powers, calling on the Council to hold a public confirmation hearing for the New York County Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Elections and take transparent measures that would vet the nominee’s experience and fitness to administer elections.
Advocacy Groups Respond to New York State Public Campaign Finance Board Budget Request for FY 2023–2024
December 16, 2022 - Yesterday the New York State Public Campaign Finance Board voted on its budget request for FY 2023–2024. The board’s commissioners approved a request totaling $114.5 million, including $100 million for future matching funds for participating campaigns and $14.5 million for program administration. The new program launched on November 9 and will provide public matching funds to participating candidates for state offices beginning with the 2024 legislative elections.
December 15, 2022 - Yesterday, in response to news about a possible pay raise for lawmakers, Citizens Union joined Common Cause/NY, League of Women Voters of NYS, NY Public Interest Research Group, and Reinvent Albany penned a letter to legislative leaders in Albany demanding any raise come with a ban on income earned through certain professions and a cap of up to 15% on certain permissible outside incomes. This request follows the same guidelines Congressional members use.
Watchdog Groups Ask Governor Hochul and AG James to Announce their Final Nominees to New Ethics Commission
November 21, 2022 - Watchdog groups ask Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James to announce their final nominations to New York’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (the “Commission”). Four seats on the new ethics commission still remain unfilled.
Watchdog groups request the new Ethics Commission to investigate JCOPE’s approval of Governor Cuomo’s book
November 11, 2022 - Citizens Union, Common Cause/NY, N.Y. Public Interest Research Group, and Reinvent Albany sent a letter to the members of the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, requesting they investigate JCOPE’s approval of former Governor Cuomo’s book deal as well as compliance with and enforcement of the terms of that approval. The letter also requested the Commission revise its rules to require Commission approval for outside income requests of agency heads statewide officials.
Citizens Union Responds to NYC Districting Commission Approval of the Final City Council District Maps, Ending a Ten-Month Long Process
November 1, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum as New York City’s redistricting process reaches its conclusion
October 28, 2022 - Citizens Union announced its endorsement of Kathy Hochul for New York State Governor. Hochul received overwhelming support among Citizens Union's board members.
Citizens Union Announces Endorsements of Three Candidates for State Senate and Assembly in Competitive General Election
October 25, 2022 - Citizens Union announced its preferences in 3 contested seats in the general elections for State Senate and Assembly. After a rigorous evaluation of 6 candidates running for office in Brooklyn and Queens, Citizens Union has endorsed Mathylde Frontus for Assembly (AD 46, Brooklyn), and Iwen Chu (SD 17, Brooklyn) and Toby Ann Stavisky (SD 11, Queens) for State Senate.
Citizens Union Announces Positions on a Statewide Ballot Proposal and Three Citywide Ballot Proposals for 2022 General Election
October 24, 2022 - Citizens Union today announced Citizens Union’s recommendations on proposals on the ballot for this fall’s general election. The first proposal will be posed to all New York State voters, and the additional three proposals will only be on the ballots of New York City voters.
Citizens Union Responds to NYC Districting Commission’s Revised City Council District Maps, Calls on Council to Act Immediately
October 6, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum after New York City Districting Commission released and voted on their latest draft of district maps, as part of the redistricting process for New York City’s 51 council districts
Dozens of Unions, Watchdogs, and Other Groups Urge Gov. Hochul to Sign Bill Restoring Comptroller’s Oversight Powers
October 5, 2022 - Eight unions and 27 organizations sent a memo of support today urging Governor Hochul to sign S6809-A/A7925-A (Reichlin-Melnick/Zebrowski), which restores many of the State Comptroller’s contract oversight powers. District Council 37, CWA District 1, AFSCME, and NYSUT were among those calling on the Governor to sign the bill, which the legislature passed in June.
Citizens Union Applauds NYC Districting Commission for Open Map Drawing Sessions, Allowing Public to See How City Council District Maps Are Drawn
September 30, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum after the New York City Districting Commission completed their two day process for drawing maps for New York City’s 51 council districts, which was open to the public
Watchdogs Ask New Members of Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government to Reset Expectations about NYS Ethics Oversight
September 26, 2022 - In a letter to the new members of the NYS State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, watchdog groups said that the creation of the new Commission provides the opportunity to “reset” public and state officers and employees’ expectations about state ethics oversight.
Citizens Union Responds to NYC Districting Commission Voting Down Proposed City Council District Maps
September 22, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum after New York City Districting Commission voted down the second draft of the district maps as part of the redistricting process for New York City’s 51 council districts
September 8, 2022 - Now that the New York State Independent Review Committee composed of the State’s law school deans has approved seven out of eleven commissioners, we urge New York’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (CELG) to begin its work immediately. There are now enough commissioners appointed for a quorum – the legal minimum required to conduct business.
September 1, 2022 - Watchdog and civic technology groups asked Governor Hochul to issue an Executive Order mandating annual updates to the state agency transparency plans she first required in September 2021.
August 10, 2022 - Citizens Union was joined by dozens of good government and community groups in urging the New York City Districting Commission to hold mapping deliberations on the new City Council district plan as part of an open public meeting, and to provide the public with a detailed explanation of how and why new lines are drawn.
Citizens Union Announces Preferences of Eight Candidates for State Senate in Competitive August Primaries
August 9, 2022 - Citizens Union announced its preferences in 8 contested primary elections for State Senate. Citizens Union undertook a rigorous evaluation of 19 candidates running for office in all five boroughs.
July 15, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum after New York City Districting Commission released the first draft of the district maps for New York City’s 51 City Council districts