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Political Science

NYC Elections 2021

Winner of Vote for 'I Voted' Stickers Is Underground Art - The New York  Times

image source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/14/nyregion/new-york-i-voted-sticker-winner-marie-dagata.html, accessed 3/30/21

This page provides more information about the upcoming elections in New York City. Learn more about getting registered to vote, how elections work in New York City, what offices are up for election this cycle, and more.

Resources at Pace University

Learn more about  how to register to vote, check your voter registration and more:

New York City / New York State Voting Resources

Public Meetings, Debates, & Town Halls

Additional Resources: Tips, News Sources, Candidate Resources

There is a lot happening in the 2021 NYC Elections - with a wide range of candidates running for mayor, multiple openings for city council seats, and more on the ballot this year, there is a lot of information to sift through.

Below are some tips and tricks for:

  • Learning about the candidates
  • How to investigate sources and claims
  • Gather information to make an informed decision before hitting the polls in November

Check your ballot!

First, it's crucial to check to see what exactly is going to be on your ballot. Some folks might have hyper-local city council seats to vote for along with voting for city-wide positions like Mayor or City Comptroller.

Who's running for what?

A full list of candidates are listed on the New York City Campaign Finance Board site (and linked to from this guide). This is updated frequently and gives you the full list of every candidate running for each open position that may be on your ballot.

How can I learn more about the candidates and the "important issues"?

  1. Check your local news! New York City is home to an incredibly robust media landscape. This guide includes lists to local news coverage from a handful of sources that have dedicated sections for reporting on just the upcoming elections. Checking the local news coverage gives you updates on campaign events, specific issues important to the candidates, and more. This coverage is typically done by veteran journalists who have experience investigating and reporting on the majors themes and issues of the election.
  2. Check social media! In 2021 it would be incredibly telling if a candidate didn't have either a campaign website or dedicated social media platforms that are all built on informing the local voter on the key issues that are important to them and what they hope to accomplish if elected. If you're not sure about a particular candidate, check their social media and you will learn a lot more about who they are, what they want to accomplish, and if that aligns with what you the voter want to see in an elected official.
  3. Don't miss a debate or a townhall! Especially for the Mayoral elections, the debate can be a great way for the public to not only learn more about the candidates, but engage with them on their campaign platforms.
  4. Check your sources, again and again!: If you're unsure about claims a candidate makes, check your sources! Is this corroborated by a trusted source? Can you find more information about the topic at hand?

Articles on City Offices, Key Races, Politics, and More:

News, Newspapers, Radio, Television & More:

Podcasts

Learn more about the candidates for local elections using these resources:

Learn more about the different city offices and their primary job duties here:

The Mayor:

  • Serves as the Chief Executive with the power to appoint and remove the commissioners of more than 40 city agencies including the police, fire, education, sanitation, health and more.
  • Oversees all of the city legislation that is introduced or passed by the City Council (with the ability to sign that legislation into city law or veto it).
  • In charge of the city budget and prioritizes what programs are funded
  • Manages relationships with state and federal lawmakers
  • Makes judicial appointments, and more

For more information see:

City Council Member:

  • Pass legislation
  • Negotiate the budget
  • Agency oversight; currently there 38 City Council committees that oversee the work of New York City agencies and programs.
  • Land use decisions; the city council has the final say on zoning changes across the city

For more information see:

City Comptroller:

  • The primary responsibility of the comptroller is to be the city's auditor and fiduciary
  • Prepare audits and oversee how city agencies are spending their money
  • Manage city public pension funds
  • Issue bonds to help pay for large projects
  • Reviews city contracts

For more information see:

Borough President:

  • Fund local initiatives, groups and projects for their borough
  • Introduce bills to the City Council (but they do not get to vote)
  • Share 5% of the city budget to fund projects and initiatives in their borough
  • Appoint community board members
  • Weigh in on public land use proposals
  • Are an overall advocate and spokesperson for their borough; can exert significant influence over what happens in their borough.

For more information see:

Public Advocate:

  • Serves as the city "watchdog" or ombudsman over the city government and monitors city agencies, investigating citizen complaints as the people's representative.
  • The second highest ranking ranking office in the city
  • Introduces legislation to the city council
  • Serves as the chair of the Commission of Public Information and Communication and on the committee that selects the director of the Independent Budget Office

For more information see: