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A defiant Andy King plans lawsuit over ethics probe

Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio have called on King to resign while Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Susan Lerner, head of good government group Common Cause, have called on the body to go further and expel King.

10.26.2019

‘It makes elections fair’: New York to vote on system that may curb polarized politics

“[It] makes our elections more fair. It helps voters hold politicians accountable to all communities, and it saves taxpayers money and voters time,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a nonpartisan grassroots organization that led the push to get RCV on New York City’s ballot.

Voting & Elections 10.25.2019

Lawsuit over voting rights in Rensselaer County in hands of judge

Plaintiffs in the case include the New York Immigration Coalition, Common Cause/New York, Community Voices Heard and Citizen Action of New York. On Friday, the advocates were represented in court by attorney Cameron Kistler and Farbod Faraji.

Ethics 10.25.2019

Common Cause Says JCOPE Is Misinterpreting Lobbying Law

“JCOPE appears to be willfully misinterpreting the lobbying law, which as written, clearly should not apply to Ms. Sullivan or any private individual who takes it upon herself to petition her government,” Lerner said. “This is an abuse of power that smacks of retaliation, and violates our fundamental democratic rights. A person who is not retained to advocate on behalf of another entity is not a lobbyist, by definition under the New York Lobbying Act. It’s clear that Ms. Sullivan’s passion, not a paycheck, is what’s driving her advocacy. It’s an embarrassment that JCOPE can’t tell the difference and continues to harass her rather than pursuing actual public corruption.”

Voting & Elections 10.24.2019

Charter Reform Proposals: One Big Change and Lots of Modest (But Important) Tweaks

“It’s a way to help voters make sense of crowded candidate fields which, luckily, we have a lot of here in New York City because of our excellent campaign-finance system,” Lerner said. “We believe that Ranked-Choice Voting, which allows you to rank up to your five preferred candidates, but to vote for only one if that’s what you prefer to do, is really well suited for our election context here in New York City.”

Voting & Elections 10.24.2019

The Consequential Questions on Your Ballot

There are 5 consequential questions on the New York City ballot this fall, each of which poses changes to city elections or governance for "yes" or "no" responses from voters. Two leading government reform experts -- Susan Lerner of Common Cause NY and Rachel Bloom of Citizens Union -- joined the podcast to discuss each of the five ballot questions and whether voters should approve or disapprove them.

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