EMPIRE STATE INDIVISIBLE AND ALLIES HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING ON ELECTION REFORMS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2019
NY, NY — Today, at Washington Irving High School, Empire State Indivisible, Citizen Action of New York and Public Citizen hosted a town hall meeting with elected officials to talk about the small-donor match campaign finance policy and its importance in the upcoming budget process.
Since a host of voting reforms passed early in the legislative session, activists across the state have turned their attention to passing campaign finance reform, specifically a 6 to 1 small-donor matched, publicly funded election system. With the State Legislature set to unveil their one house budgets in the coming weeks, New Yorkers gathered in lower Manhattan for a conversation with state and federal elected officials about the urgency of passing Fair Election policies.
In attendance were Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NYS Senators Liz Krueger, Zellnor Myrie, Brian Benjamin, Michael Gianaris, Robert Jackson, and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer were also in attendance.
Federal officials spoke about HR1, a progressive vision for democracy reform at the national level, while Democratic state officials spoke enthusiastically about passing a campaign finance package in the current Legislative session.
“New Yorkers increasingly understand the importance of our State Legislature preserving and expanding Democracy in our state,” said Ricky Silver of Empire State Indivisible. “While we believe in the vision HR1 has set for our national politics, we know we can pass campaign finance reform in New York this year and we expect our electeds to follow through on the promises they’ve made.”
“When I ran, I had the good fortune of receiving a lot of small donations, but also crucial support from many of my former colleagues who could afford to give,” said Senator Myrie. “But so many people don’t have that resource. The first question should never be whether or not you can raise money, but whether or not you’re the best candidate to serve your community.”
“In every corner of New York State, people are demanding we create a government truly of, by & for the people through finally enacting small donor matching funds in this year’s New York budget,” said Jessica Wisneski of Citizen Action of NY. “Big money’s rule over rent, healthcare, and the environment in Albany must end. The time is now.”
“Big money holds too much sway over our political process and voting is still too hard. Making elections fairer, including through a small donor matching system, is critical in order to restore political power to everyday people,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “Thank you to all the activists who fight everyday to improve our elections”
“Big money in politics is a muzzle on the voices that matter.The greatest barrier to truly progressive, long-overdue reform in Albany is our current campaign finance system,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The impact of free and fair elections is greater than any one Election Day, it is about finally delivering on the progressive vision New Yorkers demand.”
Today marks Empire State Indivisible’s 8th hosted town hall meeting since the group formed in January of 2017. Other Empire State Indivisible town hall meetings include events held in IDC districts preceding the 2018 primary election where 6 out of the 8 member conference lost their seat.
Apart from the well-attended in-person gathering the online participation was far reaching. Facebook statistic show 35,919 People Reached, 2,281 Engagements, and13,000 video views so far.
Empire State Indivisible is part of the national Indivisible movement and is committed to defend New York against the Trump administration and those who enable its policies.
Additional organizations that supported the event include: Brooklyn Voters Alliance, Common Cause NY, Demos, Downtown Women for Change, Indivisible Brooklyn, Indivisible Harlem, Indivisible Nation BK, Inwood Indivisible, Morningside Heights Resistance, Persist 81, Rise and Resist, United Thru Action, Village Independent Democrats, Wolf-PAC NY
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