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June 24, 2020
by Adam roberts
US Capitol. Photo: Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, June 23 was primary day in New York State. Democrats and Republicans voted in crucial contests for local, state, and federal races. Due to the significant increase in absentee ballots, official results will not be released for most races until next week.

The results of the primary and the 2020 general election will have significant ramifications for the practice of architecture in New York State, just as they did in 2018. Since Democrats took full control of our state legislature in 2018, they have passed laws around rent reform, bail reform, and transportation funding, which have already changed architecture in our state. Primary results in 2018 helped fuel these policy changes, as right-leaning Democrats in the state legislature lost reelection to more progressive challengers.

Notably, congestion pricing was at last passed, providing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with much-needed revenue to improve the bus, subway, and commuter rail systems. Along with a coalition of pro-transit groups, AIANY was a strong supporter of congestion pricing. Our Executive Director Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, is currently serving on the MTA’s Major Construction Review Unit to supervise capital improvements funded by congestion pricing.

There are numerous challenges occurring to incumbent state legislators, but the marquee contests are for Congress. There has been strong support from progressive Democrats for infrastructure and housing spending through legislative frameworks like the Green New Deal. If progressive Democrats win congressional races for open seats and against incumbents, these policies are more likely to be implemented, particularly if Democrats retake the US Senate and presidency.

For a list of the most pressing races, check out this New York Times voter guide. AIANY will continue to keep you updated on how these and other political changes affect your practice.

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