Citizens Union: Engaging New Yorkers to Reform Government
TODAY IN GOTHAM GAZETTE

Citizens Union Foundation's watchdog publication Gotham Gazette, provides New Yorkers with illuminating analyses on policy, long-form interviews with thought leaders, and underreported stories about the actions of government and government officialsRead Gotham Gazette's latest stories.


REFORM GROUPS CALL ON LEGISLATURE TO BLOCK PASSAGE OF PURPORTED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM IN BUDGET
 
Reform groups issued a news release calling on the legislature to take the time and do it right on campaign finance reform, rather than rushing a measure through in the state budget.  It urged the legislature to reject the budget bill that contains a provision for public funding for only the state comptroller's office for this current election cycle. For more information see the groups' memorandum of opposition to the legislation, S.6355-A/A.8555-A. 3/31/2014

STATE BUDGET DEAL ANNOUNCED; CU RESPONDS TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE COMPONENTS
 
Following the announcement of a budget deal, Citizens Union released a statement noting that while public funding for state comptroller candidates opens the door for campaign finance reform, the Governor and leaders must step through the door to agree to more comprehensive reforms.  CU also noted that the steps regarding enforcement and the public trust were steps in the right direction. 3/29/2014

STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS KICKS ASIDE ANOTHER CAMPAIGN FINANCE COMPLAINT
 
Following the State Board of Elections notifying Citizens Union that it has ended an investigation it never started, CU renewed its call for better enforcement at the state level for campaign finance violations. This follows inaction by the State Board of Elections in addressing the 224 political clubs who were identified by CU as failing to register3/26/2014

LESS VOTER CHOICE AND CANDIDATE COMPETITION IN  NYS LEGISLATIVE CONTESTS THAN NYC COUNCIL: CU REPORT 
 

The report’s findings show that state legislative elections occurring within New York City feature a greater number of uncontested races, fewer candidates for voters to choose from, and incumbents who face less competition while the City council races feature greater choice and candidate competition due to the strength of the city’s public matching system. Read the full press release here. 3/20/2014

GOOD GOVERNMENT GROUPS WEBCAST NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE MEETINGS USING SMART PHONES
 

Citizens Union, with colleagues Reinvent Albany and NYPIRG webcast assembly committee hearings to bring needed transparency and public access to the proceedings. Watch the archive at www.gothamgazette.com/citizenwebcasts and read the full press release here. 3/19/2014

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
 

Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters NYS and NYPIRG released a statement on the State Senate's budget resolution, noting that it leaves the door open for campaign finance reform, saying it is now up to Governor Cuomo to reach a deal on comprehensive campaign finance reform that includes public funding. 3/13/2014

GOOD GOVERNMENT GROUPS CALL FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM IN BUDGET RESOLUTION
 

The good government groups sent a letter to Co-Presidents Klein and Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Silver urging them to include comprehensive campaign finance reform in the budget resolutions. Rank-and-file members were also sent a letter encouraging them to show their support for campaign finance reform. Read the full press release here. 3/10/2014

NEW GOTHAM GAZETTE EXECUTIVE EDITOR HIRED
 

Ben Max, Founder of DecideNYC.com is hired to be the new executive editor of GothamGazette.com, a publication of Citizens Union Foundation devoted to public interest journalism. Max will focus on strengthening Gotham Gazette's heralded investigative and explanatory journalism and expand its admired election coverage and political data aggregation. Read the full press release here. 3/6/2014

BEST PRACTICES FOR RECRUITMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBERS
 

The Council’s Governmental Operations Committee held its second hearing of 2014 in March, at which CU presented its best practices for recruiting and appointing members of community boards.  CU's Alex Camarda presented the testimony, recommending a standardized process for appointing members, and the institution of term limits of five, two-year terms for members. 3/3/2014

BOARD OF ELECTIONS EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE HIRED ON MERIT NOT PATRONAGE
 

Citizens Union testified before the Council’s Governmental Operations committee in support of the NYC Department of Investigation’s report calling for reform of the City Board of Elections. Citizens Union, which played a role in shaping the DOI report, called on the Board and Council to prioritize making hiring of Board employees based on merit rather than patronage, modernizing the Board’s record-keeping and voter registration processes, and improving training and recruitment of poll workers2/28/2014

CITIZENS UNION PRESSES FOR WEBCASTING IMPLEMENTATION AND RULES REFORM
 

In separate appearances before the City Council today, Citizens Union testified on implementing webcasting and rules reformCitizens Union called for a comprehensive list of agencies subject to the new law on webcasting be released to the public to maintain oversight as only 14 city entities currently webcast. Additionally, on rules reform, Citizens Union urged changes in the way discretionary funding is allocated. 2/24/2014

CITY ELECTIONS MORE COMPETITIVE DUE TO PUBLIC MATCHING SYSTEM
 

Citizens Union gave testimony to the New York City Campaign Finance Board at their post-election hearing. The testimony highlighted the competitiveness of the City Council elections of 2013 compared to the State Legislative elections, showing the importance of the public-matching system. Read the full testimony here. 2/13/2014



Watch Our Webcast of Assembly
Committee meetings here!



  Help support Citizens Union Foundation!




Become a charter member of our new major donor program and help us make democracy work for all New Yorkers.

Making Democracy Work
for all New Yorkers
A Three-Year Strategic Plan
for Citizens Union

 
We have refined our mission and set forth clear strategic priorities to advance that mission for the benefit of all New Yorkers

 Download the condensed version of our strategic plan

Download the complete version of our strategic plan

CU In the News

TimesLedger BOE commissioners hire close to home 4/10/14 - Read Full Article

NY1-Watchdogs Cry Foul Over Ad Produced by Nonprofit Staffed With de Blasio Loyalists 4/11/14 - Read Full Article

The Forum Newsgroup- Queens Leaders: State Budget Will Boost Storm Planning, Boro Economy But Criticism Issued Over Lack of Campaign Finance Reform, 4/4/14 - Read Full Article

NY1- Push to Enact Campaign Finance Reform Falls Short in Budget Cycle, 4/2/14 - Read Full Article

NY Daily News- Coney Island toilet tussle leads to $3,700 in political donations to state Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, 4/2/14 - Read Full Article

WAMC- NYS Public Campaign Financing Effort Limited To Comptroller, 4/1/14 - Read Full Article

Uticaod- US House seats made more competitive in New York, 3/31/14 - Read Full Article

NY1-Push to Enact Campaign Finance Reform Falls Short in Budget Cycle, 3/31/14 - Read Full Article

Daily News- EXCLUSIVE: Consulting firm that aided Melissa Mark-Viverito's campaigns now lobbies to her, 3/31/14 - Read Full Article

Little Falls Times- U.S. House seats made more competitive in New York, 3/30/14 - Read Full Article