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.
The Voters Directory
This June, New Yorkers will vote in primary elections to choose party nominees for New York State Legislature, Queens Borough President, as well as federal and judicial positions.
To help our supportive 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 Primary Election, including voting and registration information and listings of every contest for all races that will be on the ballot in New York City this June. It also includes a roster of Citizens Union’s preferred 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 https://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 30 candidates in 13 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.
For the first time in over 100 years, the evaluation process was conducted entirely online. Due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and NYS PAUSE, all interviews and meetings were held by video conference.
A “Preferred” 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 “Preferred” rating in primary elections, and an “Endorsed” rating for General Election contests. A “No Preference” 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.