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“Revising the People’s Charter with Open Minds”

This is an important read for NYC:

(Gale Brewer is Manhattan Borough President and Letitia James is Public Advocate)

 

Revision of the City Charter, our central governing document, should not be a one-person show, focused on a single issue. Over the last 25 years, charter …[r]evisions have largely been narrow and myopic…

We believe this city can do better. A new charter revision commission, which was approved Wednesday by the City Council, can and should be truly democratic and capable of broad systemic reform without predetermined conclusions.

We support campaign finance reform, but also believe that the city’s land use, budget, and planning processes must be overhauled. We want to see the creation of a charter revision commission…we proposed a commission…that would examine the charter as a whole, without preconditions or marching orders.

…what we really want is a truly independent commission that will enter the process with open ears and open minds – something that the entire City Council agrees with. Everything should be on the table, nothing should be off limits, and the final product should not be preordained by anyone. We proposed this as elected officials whose very offices have been threatened with elimination in past revisions, so it should be clear we have the courage of our convictions…

…The people of this city deserve an independent commission that will not be directed to take a specific action, but charged with the responsibility to look at the whole picture and bring its recommendations to the people….

…The mayor’s commission can move forward and pursue the ‘democracy agenda’ he envisions. Meanwhile his four appointees can join our commission for an open discussion of what else our charter needs to do to grow and change along with the city. The City Council has already expressed its support and, if the mayor will join us, we can all come together to do what’s best for the people of New York.”

 

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