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Welcome to the July 2019 issue of The Reformer and from all of us at Citizens Union, happy (early) Fourth of July!

On July 4, 1776 the U.S. Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, freeing the thirteen colonies from British rule. 243 years later, we commemorate Independence Day with patriotic celebrations and fireworks.

Everyday, Citizens Union and our Members work to hold our New York City and State governments to the promises enshrined within this sacred document. Join us. And celebrate the Fourth by re-familiarizing yourself with the Declaration HERE and re-committing yourself to the work of ensuring that our government upholds and protects the fundamental right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that we all share.

 

Gotham Gazette Turns 20!

Back in 1999, Citizens Union Foundation launched Gotham Gazette to help inform New Yorkers about their government and to hold the powerful accountable. For 20 years, Gotham Gazette has done just that – providing award-winning independent, nonpartisan coverage of New York City policy and politics. And we’ve done it all through the generosity of our readers and donors. Please make a special gift – today – in honor of our 20th anniversary so we can keep reporting on key issues, offering incisive analysis, and providing the information concerned New Yorkers need to know.  Give HERE.

 

Policy Victories

Victories for an Accurate Census

In case you missed it on June 27th, the United States Supreme Court ruled against the U.S. Commerce Department’s inclusion of the “citizenship question” on the 2020 Census. Read CU’s full statement HERE.

In New York City, we are celebrating another victory – thanks to CU’s advocacy, and with the help of the NY Counts 2020 coalition, on June 14th $40 million was appropriated in the City budget to fund census outreach. We are continuing to advise the City Council on community needs and making recommendations for how the funding should be distributed.

Though we’ve been working for the past year to ensure an accurate count (funding for safety net programs and the number of New York State electoral college votes depend on it), the real hard work begins now to get out the count.
 

RCV and CCRB Reform Get a Boost

On June 18, the NYC Charter Revision Commission finalized issues for November’s ballot. Two are reforms CU has long backed: one, rank choice voting (RCV), to eliminate expensive primary run offs and candidates winning by razor-thin margins in packed races, and two, strengthening the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s (CCRB) oversight of the police department.
 

Implementing Early Voting

In January, the state legislature passed early voting, bringing us in line with 38 other states. Early voting has been a core issue of CU for many years, and this is a big win for New York voters. CU continues to advocate with the Board of Elections to ensure there are enough early voting sites available, and that the machinery the Board of Elections purchases to facilitate this process is appropriate and effective.
 

 

CU Member Events

Police Commissioner Speaks at CU Breakfast

On June 26, James O’Neill, NYC Police
Commissioner since 2016, spoke at a CU Breakfast Brief. He shared the many ways in which the NYPD is working to improve accountability and transparency and the ways in which the NYPD has achieved NYC’s historically low crime rates. More photos can be seen HERE – be sure to like our Facebook page while you’re there!  CU puts on events like these for our membership, if you are not a member, join today!
 

 

SAVE THE DATE!
2019 Gotham Greats Dinner

Citizen’s Union Gala October 22, 2018 © Julienne Schaer

CU’s Annual Gotham Greats Dinner will be held on October 24th, 2019 at the Pierre.  Honorees (so far) include: Bill Mulrow, Sr. Managing Director of Blackstone Group and previously Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo; Mary Jo White, Sr. Chair and Litigation Partner at Debevoise and Plimpton, former chair of the U.S. SEC and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District; and Harry Wilson, founder and CEO of MAEVA Group, LLC, formerly served in the U.S. Treasury Department and on the U.S. Auto Industry Task Force under President Obama. Please, Save the Date! And for more information, click HERE.

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