skip to Main Content


Dear Friend,

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, it’s time to focus on the important work ahead of us this fall. Right now the State’s Public Finance Commission is working on recommendations that could fundamentally reshape elections in New York State. We’re pushing the commission to make changes that would give everyday New Yorkers a greater say in the process and make our elections fairer. 

We also have our Annual Members Meeting featuring New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and our Gotham Greats Dinner coming up. Details below. I hope to see you at both!

In the meantime, thank you for your support.




Betsy Gotbaum



Policy Update

Creating a Model Campaign Finance System in NY State

In less than 100 days, New York State’s Public Campaign Finance Commission must deliver its recommendations for creating a statewide system of campaign finance. As our CU Members know, and have worked for, New York State needs publicly financed elections so candidates and elected officials are accountable to the voters, and not to special interests and deep pocketed donors.

In providing recommendations, the Public Campaign Finance Commission has the opportunity to create a small donor matching system that would ensure politicians are putting the public’s interest first. This is important to prevent undue influence over decision making and to amplify the voices of everyday New Yorkers.

The Commission will hold the first of five public hearings this week. With the support of the CU Members Policy Committee, we are drafting testimony and will be appearing before the Commission this fall. Our testimony will focus on key components we believe any state law must have, including the creation of a public matching funds campaign finance program with increased disclosure requirements and more independent oversight.
It is time to bring fair elections to New York and create a system that serves as a model for the nation.


CU Annual Members Meeting – September 25

At this year’s Annual Members Meeting we are delighted to feature Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Senate Majority Leader. Stewart-Cousins is the first woman to lead a conference in the New York State Legislature and also the first female Senate Majority Leader in New York State history.  The Senator will speak on the historic legislative session in the first half of 2019, and the myriad reforms passed. In particular she will focus on the election and voting reforms so long pushed for by our membership and the plans to roll them out prior to the 2019 and 2020 elections. Additionally, at this meeting the important Citizens Union business of electing new board members will be completed. To attend and participate you must be a CU Member in good standing, please renew your membership, or join today!


CU Annual Gotham Greats Dinner October 24 – Get Your Tickets!

Citizens Union’s Annual Gotham Greats Dinner will be held on October 24th. You don’t want to miss it! Over 400 of New York’s citizens and civic leaders will be there to salute the following outstanding individuals for their contributions to the civic life of New York City: William J. Mulrow, Mary Jo White and Harry J. Wilson. Tickets are available here. We hope can you join us!


Citizens Union In The News

New York Times – 8/4/19
Cuomo and Campaign Financing

New York Daily News – 8/5/19
Good Gov’ Group calls on DOI to probe de Blasio mortgages, Podolsky deal

City & State – 8/6/19
Bill de Blasio’s rough start to the week

New York Times – 8/7/19
When de Blasio’s daughter moved, his security detail carried the futon

New York Daily News – 8/12/19
Readers sound off on Corey Johnson’s fundraising, the Dodgers, and our divided country


Thank You To Our Supporters!

Beatrice Gottlieb – CU Member for 66 Years

Beatrice Gottlieb has been a member of Citizens Union since 1953 – for 66 years! When asked about what first inspired her to join, she told us about about finding a CU Voters Directory (a copy of the one shown here) in the mail-room of her work. Thinking the information both helpful and thorough, she joined CU and for years attended committee meetings on subjects such as civics education and election reform. She says “I really believed CU was trying to inform people on not only the elections, but our government structure as a whole,” an effort she deemed to be necessary and important.  This effort continues to inspire her membership, even, as she said “I don’t always agree with your endorsements”.  She believes our Voters Directory to be one of CU’s most important activities as it provides more information on elections and ballot questions than other resources.

We’re grateful to Beatrice for sharing her story and for her incredible commitment to Citizens Union. And we thank all of our longstanding CU members.  If you are not already a member, please join Beatrice and CU today. 


Get Involved! 

Learn More HERE. Join us and support our work with a donation HERE.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and like, comment and share our content!

Back To Top