by: Bria Donohue
In 2020, AIA New York launched the AIA New York Political Action Fund (AIANY PAF), which enables our association to support candidates for political office. We heard from members that the upcoming primary for the New York City Council is particularly important to their practices and the future of the city. This election year is also unique due to a quirk in the City Charter stating that every 20 years following the redistricting process, a City Council election must be held after two years for a two-year term (see Section 25 of the City Charter). The goal of this section of the City Charter is to ensure that New Yorkers in their newly-drawn districts have a choice for their representatives and are given the opportunity to challenge incumbent councilmembers.
The Council’s work is incredibly important, and it is pivotal that we elect council members that support and will advocate for issues that matter to our members. Last week, for example, the City Council advanced a permanent Open Restaurants bill (Int 0031-2022), broadly supported by AIANY, enabling the NYC Department of Transportation to develop new rules for sidewalk cafes and roadbed structures. We need to ensure that the councilmembers we elect continue to work on bills that improve public spaces and quality of life in NYC.
The Democratic Primary on June 27, 2023 is only a month away. We are pleased to provide our members with a Voter Guide to candidates for the City Council who are strong supporters of issues that matter to architects. Candidates were evaluated based on their policy positions, the strength of their campaigns, and responses to AIA New York’s candidate questionnaire. Before the election, remember to confirm which council district you live in along with your voter registration status, as only those registered to a political party can vote in the primary.
If you have any questions or seek to become involved in a political campaign, please reach out to Bria Donohue, Government Affairs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to assist any members who want to become more civically engaged!