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October 30, 2018
by Adam Roberts
Voting line in Brooklyn. Credit: April Sikorski.

This coming Tuesday, November 6 is the 2018 General Election, also known as the “midterm election.” AIANY strongly encourages its members to vote. You may check your registration status here. Please note a few things about voting in New York:

  • Polls open at 6 am and close at 9 pm
  • You DO NOT need to show proof of identification to vote
  • The voter registration deadline has passed, so only registered voters may vote

Governor Cuomo and Senator Gillibrand will be up for reelection this year, and a few very important races and ballot proposals will be happening in New York City, which are summarized below.

Charter Ballot Proposals
New York City voters will be voting “yes” or “no” on three different ballot proposals. The first would institute stricter campaign fundraising limits. The second would create a Civic Engagement Commission to oversee a citywide participatory budgeting program, provide land use professionals to community boards, and do other work to increase civic participation. The final proposal would institute term limits for community boards, require that they have assistance of land use professionals from the Civic Engagement Commission, and standardize the application process across all five boroughs.

The latter two proposals affect the practice of architect in New York City in a positive manner. Citywide participatory budgeting would increase public engagement with public works, while community boards need reforms such as term limits and access to land use professionals. AIANY recommends that members vote “Yes” for Ballot Proposal #2 in favor of establishing the Civic Engagement Commission, and “Yes” for Ballot Proposal #3 in favor of Community Board term limits and access to land use professionals.

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives
Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs. Many of the most important battleground districts are around New York City—in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and Northern Jersey. The 11th district (Staten Island and South Brooklyn), represented by Republican Dan Donovan, is the one battleground district in New York City itself. Donovan, the former Staten Island District Attorney, is being challenged by Afghanistan war veteran Max Rose.

A New York Times/Sienna College poll showed Donovan ahead of Rose 44% to 40%, within the poll’s 4.7% margin of error. The race is very close and may help determine control of Congress for the next two years.

Control of New York State Senate
Though Democrats have a majority in the New York State Senate, a single Democrat who caucuses with Republicans has kept Republicans in control. As with Congress, there are a number of battleground State Senate districts around New York City, though there is one in New York City itself. Longtime Republican incumbent Marty Golden, who represents the 22nd district (South Brooklyn), is being challenged by political aide Andrew Gounardes.

Though Golden has won comfortably in the past, despite the Democratic voter registration advantage in his district, this race is expected to be close. Gounardes and Golden differ considerably: Gounardes is a young, low-key, left-leaning Democrat, while Golden is a decades-long elected official, brash, and very conservative. Control of the State Senate may come down to one seat, potentially the 22nd district.

Pulse Points:

  • The AIANY Civic Leadership Program will be hosting a community board information session at 8 am on Wednesday, November 14 at the Center for Architecture. More information can be found here. AIANY will be advocating once more for the appointment of its members to community boards.
  • Join the Civic Leadership Program on Thursday, November 1 at the Center for Architecture as they showcase current civic engagement practices in New York City. More information and registration can be found here.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Appointments has asked that AIANY members strongly consider working for the City of New York. To apply for positions, submit your resume to the resume portal. Please contact Adam Roberts, Government Affairs Coordinator, at aroberts@aiany.org, so that AIANY can advocate on your behalf.
  • Submissions are open for the Urban Land Institute New York Awards for Excellence in Development. Applications may be submitted for projects located anywhere within New York State, except for Westchester County. The submission deadline is November 2, so please click here to find out more information.

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