With Supermajority Secured on Historic Municipal Voting Rights Bill, Immigrant Rights Advocates and Allies Celebrate And Prepare for NYC Council Vote on 12/9/2021

New York, NY-Today, the Our City Our Vote Coalition, led by the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and United Neighborhood Houses, were joined by allies, and immigrant New Yorkers in a rally at City Hall to celebrate securing a supermajority of 35 co-sponsors on New York City Council bill Intro 1867 and to thank Council Speaker Corey Johnson for scheduling a vote on December 9, 2021. Intro 1867 would extend the right to vote in municipal elections to roughly 900,000 immigrant New Yorkers with legal permanent residence status or work authorization.

“In a time when states across the Country are passing voter restriction laws, New York City must show that it stands alongside its Immigrant communities who live and work in our city. Nearly 400 voter suppression laws have been proposed in 48 states in recent years. Passing the Municipal Voting Rights Bill would make this the largest edition of eligible voters in 50 years. New York City will be making history,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “After getting the right to vote in local elections as a result of this bill, there is a high probability that immigrants would become even more motivated to become citizens and vote in federal elections. Let’s be clear, after passing this bill, other municipalities will follow in New York City’s footsteps and realize that if they have immigrant residents who pay their taxes and contribute to their city, they should also have the right to vote in their local elections. I sincerely thank The New York Immigration Coalition, United Neighborhood Housing, and the Our City, Our Vote Coalition for the work they’ve all done to get us here.”

“By extending voting rights to immigrant New Yorkers who live, work and raise families here, New York City will show the nation how a true representative democracy should function,” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition. “The passage of this landmark bill will mean that nearly a million New Yorkers will no longer be relegated to the sidelines every election cycle. These New Yorkers deserve a chance to be heard in how our city works -- from the quality of their neighborhood schools to all the big and small ways City decisions impact every resident’s daily life. We look forward to the City Council passing the Our City, Our Vote legislation on December 9th and Mayor de Blasio signing it into law, soon thereafter, to establish our city as a trailblazer in the national battle to preserve and expand voting rights.”

“New York City just went to the polls this month, but there were nearly a million New Yorkers who were not able to vote,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses. “New York City has a duty to create a democracy inclusive of and accountable to everyone who calls it home. As COVID-19 continues to impact our neighborhoods, it has never been more important to ensure all residents living, working, and paying taxes in our city can have a voice in our government. We are thrilled that Speaker Corey Johnson has called for a vote on Intro 1867 and we look forward to finally enfranchising those who have been left out of the political process."

The Our City, Our Vote coalition supports groundbreaking legislation to expand democracy in New York City so green card holders and those authorized to work in the United States can vote in elections for city-level offices. Introduction 1867 would allow New York City residents, who are otherwise qualified to register under New York State election law, to vote in municipal elections. In September, the New York City Council held a hearing on the bill after the OCOV coalition secured a large majority of co-sponsors in June. Nearly one million New York City residents cannot vote in local elections due to their citizenship status, despite paying taxes and being invested in and contributing to the city.