What’s Going on in the Local Elections?

If you have a pulse, you know that much attention is paid to the presidential election that happens once every four years. But the presidential election often takes attention away from local elections, which occur more frequently and are just as important as — if not more important than — the presidential election. Even elections for important federal offices such as senators and representatives can be overshadowed by the national race and, as a result, many people — especially newer voters — aren’t always aware of who is running for local office or what state legislative measures are on the ballot.

New York does not allow citizen-initiated ballot measures on its ballot; instead, they must be referred by the legislature. This means you get years like this one, in which the New York Legislature has not placed any measures on the ballot.

Several elected officials, including those on the state legislative committee, are in fact up for reelection. However, the ones who serve the districts that NYU’s campus falls under all ran unopposed. Since the time to vote has already passed, WSN has compiled a list of these officials’ stances on several issues: legalization of marijuana, green energy, prison/police reform and gun control.

State Assembly District 66

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Deborah Glick, Democrat:

Legalization: supports decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana; voted to legalize medical marijuana

Energy: supports state funding for developing alternative forms of energy

Prison/police reform: voted yes on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society

Gun control: supports stricter gun control; doesn’t support allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons

State Senator District 27

Brad M. Hoylman, Democrat:

Legalization: supports decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana; supports a bill to make marijuana legal in New York

Energy: work to create green jobs based on clean, renewable energy

Prison/police reform: fight to increase the accountability of the NYPD; opposes Stop and Frisk practices

Gun control: fight gun manufacturers and toughen licensing procedures

U.S. Senate

Senior Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat:

Legalization: doesn’t oppose it; supports Senator Gillibrand’s medical marijuana bill

Energy: voted yes on factoring global warming into federal project planning

Prison/police reform: voted to give offenders a second chance; voted no to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment

Gun control: wants to ban large-capacity ammunition; enforce gun laws on national security grounds

Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat:

Legalization: neutral on the legalization of marijuana; helped introduce a bipartisan bill to end federal prohibition of medical marijuana

Energy: voted yes for tax incentives for renewable energy; wants to balance fossil fuels and viable renewable energy

Prison/police reform: voted yes on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society; co-sponsored an increase in funding for the “COPS ON THE BEAT” program

Gun control: voted yes on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets; wants to ban large-capacity ammunition

U.S. House of Representatives District 12

Carolyn Maloney, Democrat:

Legalization: supports legalization of marijuana; voted no on prohibiting needle exchange and medical marijuana in DC

Energy: voted yes on tax incentives for renewable energy; voted yes on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution

Prison/police reform: voted yes on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society; sponsored bill for easier access to rape kits and analysis

Gun control: stricter regulation on gun show firearm sales; ban large-capacity ammunition.

A version of this article appeared in the WSN 2016 Election Issue. Email Abbey Wilson at [email protected]

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