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Citizens Union Mission

Citizens Union (CU) is committed to reforming New York City and State government to foster accountability, accessibility, transparency, honesty, and the highest ethical standards. For the

past 120 years, we at Citizens Union have devoted ourselves to holding our local governments accountable to do better in all of these areas, and we remain committed to enfranchising all New Yorkers. The many initiatives that we are currently advancing include ethics reform, court reform, increased civic engagement and youth voting, greater police accountability, and campaign finance. In all of these efforts, we have been — and will remain — nonpartisan.

Stay up to date with the latest happenings of the CU team and our work by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter.

 

The Voters Directory

This fall, New Yorkers will vote in the general election for New York State Legislature, Queens Borough President, as well as for federal and judicial positions. 

To help our supportive Citizens Union members prepare to vote, Citizens Union has been publishing an annual Voters Directory for over a century. The current edition provides an overview of the 2020 general elections, including voting and registration information and listings of every contest for all races that will be on the ballot in New York City this fall. It also includes a roster of Citizens Union’s endorsed candidates in several key races, and information about the rigorous evaluation process and assessments of candidates. 

We caution voters that there may be last minute elimination or reinstatement of candidates on the ballot, so the list contained in this directory may have changed since this document was printed. 

For more information, visit the NYC Board of Elections website at

vote.nyc or call (866) VOTE-NYC.

 

Candidate Evaluation Process

In this unprecedented election cycle, during a city, state, and national state of emergency, Citizens Union has evaluated candidates in four races for state Senate and Assembly to determine who strongly supports our issues, can advance a reform agenda, and can best fulfill the obligations of the position.

Interview teams made up of Local Candidates Committee members assessed the candidates based on their responses to Citizens Union’s questionnaire (a prerequisite for interviews), research, first-hand knowledge of the candidates, and interviews with the candidates, which are approximately 30 minutes each. 

The interview teams then made advisory recommendations to the full Local Candidates Committee, which deliberated and made recommendations to the Citizens Union Board, which made the final decision.

As in the primary election, the evaluation process was conducted entirely online. Due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic all interviews and meetings were held by video conference.

An “Endorsed” rating reflects a candidate that Citizens Union deems not only qualified for the office, but also a viable candidate, committed to an agenda of positive reform. Please note that

candidates not preferred may nevertheless be highly regarded, which is generally reflected in the commentary.

Citizens Union issues a “Endorsed” rating in general elections, and an “Preferred” rating for primary election contests. A “No Endorsement” rating may result when there is insufficient

information available, it is believed that the candidates are of equal merit, or if no candidate interviewed by Citizens Union is believed to be effective or capable of representing the district.

 

Our Criteria 

The following guidelines are used by the Local Candidates Committee and Citizens Union Board of Directors in the evaluation of candidates:

  • Support for Citizens Union’s reform agenda shall be the primary criteria used in deciding its support for a candidate.
  • Evidence of ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign shall be considered, but not be determinative.
  • Ability to advance CU’s goals, if elected, shall be considered, but not determinative. Incumbents will be held accountable for their record of reform in office and shall be judged accordingly on the basis of their demonstrated support for CU’s issues.
  • State, local, or community issues specific to the race’s jurisdiction shall be considered, as will candidates’ ability to grasp these issues and propose thoughtful solutions to represent their constituents’ interests.
  • Evaluation of the candidates and the decision to support a particular candidate shall be made without regard to political party and in a nonpartisan manner.
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