1.3 million taxpaying New Yorkers are denied the right to vote in city elections
One in five adult New Yorkers cannot vote in local elections because of our citizenship status. In several City Council Districts, the proportion of the disenfranchised rises to more than 1 in 3 residents. Is this what democracy looks like?
Noncitizen residents contribute $18.2 billion in New York State income taxes
Not only do noncitizen residents pay billions in state income taxes, we are responsible for $229 billion in economic output in New York State: that’s over one-fifth of the state’s total GDP. We live here, we send our children to school here, we contribute to every aspect of the economic, cultural and social life of this city, yet we cannot vote in decisions that affect our daily lives.
No taxation without representation
Not letting taxpaying residents participate in decision-making at the local level amounts to taxation without representation, and it has no place in our democracy.
All residents could vote for 150 years of US history
Allowing all residents to vote is not a new idea; in fact, it has defined our democracy for most of our history. In 40 states, noncitizen residents voted and even held office for the first 150 years of US history. And here in New York City, all residents were allowed to vote on the school boards for more than 40 years.
45 countries around the world allow all residents the right to vote in local elections
And in the US, 6 towns in Maryland already allow noncitizen voting, and cities across the country are following suit. It’s time New York City became a leader in this movement for the expansion of democracy.
Voting embodies the principles of equality and freedom that define democracy
We must restore the right to vote for all New Yorkers, because when all residents are able to participate in making decisions that affect their daily lives, democracy is better served, and everyone benefits.