Because Council Member Andrew Cohen was elected to the Bronx Supreme Court and resigned as of 12/31/20, there will be a special election for City Council in our district (District 11) on March 23.
How the New York City Council Impacts our Lives
The City Council has four main functions:
- Making and passing laws that NYC residents and businesses must follow
- Negotiating changes in the Mayor’s budget for NYC each year and approving it
- Making rules for how City land is used
- Making sure that City agencies are serving New Yorkers
The City Council also approves changes to the City’s zoning rules, which impact what kinds of buildings can be built where and may impact neighborhood density and affordability.
There are 51 City Council districts, with one Council member representing each district. Cohen’s district, the one most of NWBI’s members reside in, is Council District 11 (see map). Usually, Council members have four-year terms and can serve two consecutive terms. This will not be the case this year.
Because this is a special election, the candidate elected will serve only until the end of calendar year 2021. In June, we expect there will be a Democratic Party primary for this Council seat (and possibly other party primaries) for the nomination to run in the regular November election. In that election, we will choose Council members for a full term. However, in this case, the terms will be only two years (ending in 2023) rather than the usual four years because delays in the 2020 Census will prevent the City’s redistricting of the Council before the 2021 election.
Ranked Choice Voting
In the March 23 special election, we will be using, recently voter approved, ranked choice voting to vote for up to five candidates. Within the new system, you may vote just one candidate, or you may vote for as many as five candidates in rank order. As you are considering which candidate(s) to vote for, you may want to consider not only who you think is the best candidate to represent you, but also which candidates are your second, third, fourth, or fifth choices.