EVALUATION PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS
In this packed election cycle, Citizens Union has evaluated 17 races and 51 candidates for office in the New York City Council and Brooklyn District Attorney races to determine who strongly supports our issues, can advance a reform agenda, and can best fulfill the obligations of the position. Interview teams of the Local Candidates Committee volunteers assess the candidates based on their responses to the following: Citizens Union’s questionnaire (a pre-requisite for interviews), research, first-hand knowledge of the candidates, and interviews with the candidates, which are approximately 30 minutes each. The interview teams then make advisory recommendations to the full Local Candidates Committee, which deliberates and makes recommendations to the Citizens Union Board, which makes the final decision. A “Preferred” rating reflects a candidate that Citizens Union deems not only qualified for the office with a viable candidacy, but also committed to an agenda of positive reform. Please note that candidates not preferred may nevertheless be highly regarded, which is generally reflected in the commentary. Citizens Union issues a “Preferred” rating during the Primary Election, and an “Endorsed” rating applies only to General Election contests. A “No Preference” rating may result when there is insufficient information available, it is
believed that the candidates are of equal merit, or if no candidate interviewed by Citizens Union is believed to be effective or capable of representing the district.
The following guidelines are used by the Local Candidates Committee and Citizens Union Board of Directors in the evaluation of candidates:
- Support for Citizens Union’s reform agenda shall be the primary criteria used in deciding its support for a candidate.
- Evidence of ability to wage an effective and competitive campaign shall be considered, but not be determinative.
- Ability to advance Citizens Union’s goals, if elected, shall be considered, but not determinative. Incumbents will be held accountable for their record of reform in office and shall be judged accordingly on the basis of their demonstrated support for Citizens Union’s issues.
- State, local, or community issues specific to the race’s jurisdiction shall be considered as will candidates’ ability to grasp these issues and propose thoughtful solutions to represent their constituents’ interests.
- Evaluation of the candidates and the decision to support a particular candidate shall be made without regard to political party and in a nonpartisan manner.