NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Practically 1,000,000 New York Metropolis residents who couldn’t vote in native elections attributable to their citizenship standing might quickly be capable of.
With a vote of 33 to 14, the Metropolis Council handed the “Our Metropolis Our Vote” laws Thursday, granting non-citizens who’re both legally licensed to work within the nation or have authorized everlasting residence standing the precise to vote in municipal elections – not federal or state.
The measure now heads to Mayor Bill de Blasio for him to signal into regulation. De Blasio has been hesitant to totally help the invoice and mentioned he believes there are nonetheless excellent authorized questions, however finally, the mayor mentioned he’ll seemingly respect the council’s choice.
BREAKING: The @NYCCouncil simply handed the historic #OurCityOurVote laws granting eligible lawful everlasting residents in New York Metropolis the precise to vote in municipal elections, paving the way in which to make New York Metropolis the most important metropolis within the nation to take action.
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) December 9, 2021
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reviews, it’s a groundbreaking enlargement of voting rights for non-citizens, impacting roughly 800,000 New Yorkers.
“We’re taking a step in the present day to create extra franchise for individuals. To increase democracy in New York Metropolis. To be sure that individuals are extra linked to civic and native issues and affairs,” mentioned Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“We’re doing it the precise method by increasing voting rights,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez informed CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Rodriguez is a sponsor of the invoice, which can permit about 800,000 immigrants with inexperienced playing cards, work authorization and DACA recipients to vote in native elections.
“We shall be form of a task mannequin not just for the state of New York, however for the entire nation,” Rodriguez mentioned.
The choice got here after hours of heated debate on the council ground.
“What this invoice goes to permit a 12 months from now’s somebody with a piece visa to come back in and 30 days later be capable of vote,” Councilman Mark Gjonaj mentioned.
“This invoice is taxation with illustration,” Councilmember Margaret Chin mentioned.
Majority Chief Laurie Cumbo questioned the potential impacts on metropolis politics.
“This specific laws goes to shift the facility dynamics in New York Metropolis in a significant method, and we should not have the numbers or the knowledge to know the way that is going to influence African-American communities,” Cumbo mentioned.
However opponents like Councilman Joseph Borelli say it’s unconstitutional, and are threatening to sue.
— Thalia Perez (@ThaliaPerezTV) December 9, 2021
”There’s further election regulation and municipal residence rule regulation that we’re seemingly going round to go this invoice, which everybody over the previous a number of many years has known as unlawful,” Borelli mentioned.
Unstirred, supporters are already seeking to the subsequent municipal election in 2023.
“What now we have to do now’s create a metropolis voting course of that enables legally permitted residents to vote,” Councilman Carlos Menchaca mentioned.
These in favor although keep the invoice is lengthy overdue.
“I’m a classroom instructor, so I all the time say to my college students it’s necessary for illustration, it’s necessary to be seen and heard,” mentioned participant Melissa John. “So a whole lot of 1000’s of immigrant New York Metropolis residents, like myself, we are going to lastly be capable of be seen and heard within the political course of.”
The transfer would place New York Metropolis within the lead as the most important U.S. metropolis giving non-citizens entry to the poll.
“We’re all going to be higher off when the people who find themselves invested in the way forward for our metropolis have a say within the path of our metropolis,” mentioned Anu Joshi of the New York Immigration coalition. “These are of us which have lived right here for many years, are elevating their youngsters right here, their youngsters are in public colleges. They’re deeply invested in New York Metropolis.”
A part of the argument favoring the invoice has been that these New Yorkers pay taxes, spend money on their communities, and contribute to the town.
The measure would go into impact subsequent 12 months.
CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report. Editor’s be aware: This story was first printed Dec. 9.