Changing the city’s charter in order to create a more equitable New York: that’s what the Racial Justice Commission is proposing this November.
“This is an effort to bring about equity, greater equity for a very diverse city of New York and of course, racial justice, which is an evading issue that often we seem to have a hold on but gets away from us,” said Manhattan and Bronx Congressmember Adriano Espaillat.
New York voters will find three questions on their ballot:
- The first will ask voters whether the charter should add an introductory statement of values aspiring toward “a just and equitable city for all.”
- The second question is about creating a permanent racial equity office, plan, and commission.
- And the third question asks if voters want the city to create a “true cost of living” measure.
“If we get that cost of living passed, what that will begin to do is to help us all understand what it costs for New Yorkers to live with dignity, what truly costs to meet their basic needs,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, chair of the Racial Justice Commission.
These questions are the result of the Racial Justice Commission created last year by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio with the goal of examining structural racism in New York and suggesting changes to the city’s charter.
“It far extends Bill de Blasio or our current mayor, Adams, or really any administration at this point. This is for the people, this is for our history and this is for the codification of the diversity of New York,” said City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
The members of the Racial Justice Commission and the elected officials are barred from telling New Yorkers how to answer these three questions, but are encouraging them to take a look and give their opinion.
Election Day is Tuesaday, Nov. 8.