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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2020
Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], (347) 361-9983

In 2021, New York City voters will elect a new Mayor and Comptroller, at least 4 new Borough Presidents and dozens of new City Council members 

The project will focus on races in communities with traditionally low voter turnout and little local media coverage

Veteran journalist Eleanor Randolph to serve as project director

Visit ElectNYC.org to find out more

New York, N.Y. (July 29, 2020) — Citizens Union Foundation, New York’s preeminent nonpartisan good government group, announced the launch of ElectNYC, a nonpartisan voter education effort that will provide New Yorkers with crucial information about next year’s local New York City elections. The 2021 elections will usher in large turnover in city government, and those elected could hold office through 2030. ElectNYC will work closely with Gotham Gazette, the independent online publication covering local government and politics published by the Citizens Union Foundation to provide crucial information through a voter guide website, original reporting and other resources for voters. Veteran journalist Eleanor Randolph, who sat on the editorial board of The New York Times from 1998 to 2018, will serve as director of the project. 

“Next year’s elections will transform New York City for generations to come. Voters will elect a new Mayor and Comptroller, at least 4 new Borough Presidents and at least 33 new City Council members. It will also be the first time city elections will feature Ranked Choice Voting,” said Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizens Union Foundation. “The turmoil of 2020 has shown us how important it is to have dependable government leaders. It is crucial that New Yorkers have accurate, unbiased information so they can make the best choices of whom to elect.”

Gotbaum announced that the organization has begun raising money for the project, and has secured financial support from the Ford Foundation. This will allow the project to hire journalists to cover local races, build a user-friendly website, and disseminate information about the elections in communities throughout the five boroughs through traditional and social media campaigns, and host local candidate debates. The project will focus on races in underserved communities with low voter turnout and limited hyper-local media outlets, and partner with local community-based nonprofits to help reach residents of these neighborhoods. 

“Our mission for the 2021 elections is straightforward. We plan to present New Yorkers with no-nonsense, non-partisan information about the candidates in this complex and important election. With shrinking local news coverage and the growth of fake news, our aim is to avoid the political hyperbole in order to provide voters with trustworthy guidance about who the candidates are, how they would run the city and how to cast a vote,” said ElectNYC Director Eleanor Randolph.

For most New Yorkers, even those who follow politics and government affairs closely, the 2021 city elections will simply be overwhelming.  The debut of Ranked Choice Voting will require voters to choose up to five candidates in special elections and party primaries. Because of term limits, an overwhelming majority of officeholders must give up their seats, including the Mayor, Comptroller, four Borough Presidents and at least 33 of 51 City Council members. Additionally, a number of incumbents are sure to face challengers. In total, as many as 500 candidates could be running for office in 2021.

Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette, added, “In partnership with this new project, Gotham Gazette will expand its well-known, local political coverage to bring New Yorkers the essential, insightful information they need to actively participate in one of the most significant local election cycles in the city’s history.”

To learn more, visit ElectNYC.org

For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at
[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union (CU) has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at www.citizensunion.org.

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