Statement: Council Member Ben Kallos Response to Mayor de Blasio's State of the City
It is great to see Mayor de Blasio make improving democracy in New York City a top priority of his new term. Last term, the City Council passed a series of laws to improve access to the polls, lessen the influence of lobbyists, and make it easier for first-time candidates to run for office. Many of the priorities the Mayor is calling for can be achieved through law by the City Council, and we will continue to push on bills I introduced last term and will be reintroducing this year:
Full Public Match: former Introduction1130-A Eliminates the arbitrary 55% cap on public funding of elections and allows every small dollar raised from city residents to be matched at 6 to 1. By doing so we are creating a path for candidates to run competitive elections that reach the total spending cap on contributions of just $175. Doing so eliminates the need to seek max checks from millionaires and incentivizes candidates to seek small donations from within the neighborhoods they seek to serve.
Young Adult Voter Registration Act (YAVRA) former Introduction 628: To ensure compliance with existing law that requires graduating students receive a voter registration form with their diploma, the legislation requires those registration forms contain a unique code the City can scan to determine which schools are complying with the law and helping their students get registered to vote. Additionally, the Department of Education would be required to report annually to the Council on their efforts to comply with the law from borough to school level, with details including the number of eligible students, the number of forms distributed by language, and the number completed and returned.