Issues

After studying an issue, the League decides whether to adopt a position based on a method known as “consensus.” Consensus is not the outcome of a vote; it is based on mutual agreement arrived at through a guided, informed discussion in which everyone has an opportunity to express views and the subject is examined from all sides. A committee looks for areas of agreement where consensus has been reached in order to create the League’s position. The national and state Leagues adopt positions after numerous local Leagues have studied an issue and arrived at a consensus.

Read our Impact on Issues below.

Our Current Issues for Emphasis

In addition to the issues that are addressed by our committees, other issues that are current League priorities include:

The main focus of the national League’s advocacy efforts in 2017 will be to fight against voter suppression laws. Sign the League’s petition to stop voter suppression!

The New York State League advocates on a wide variety of issues. Click here to see the issues that are priorities now.

Advocating on public issues and training volunteers in advocacy skills are among the League’s primary goals. The NYC League’s extensive advocacy efforts include action alerts through our website, social media and the Voices Political Tool app; lobbying city and state officials in person; and testifying on a variety of matters. Our efforts on state and national issues are greatly assisted by up-to-date information provided by the New York and national Leagues.

Impact on Issues

  • City Budget
    • Advocate reducing expenditures by minimizing waste and duplication in city spending,increasing productivity and better management.
    • Advocate increasing revenues by: implementing tax abatement programs for business with emphasis on rehabilitation, job creation and retention; adjusting business occupancy tax to lessen the burden on small businesses; utilizing a reasonable commuter tax; revising sales tax to lessen the burden on people with low incomes; asking for additional payments in lieu of taxes for property owned by authorities, State and Federal governments; eliminating additional classes of property from tax exemption regulations.
  • City Employees
    • Oppose city residency as a requirement for civil service employment in city government
  • Criminal Justice
    • Support the use of integrated statewide computer data banks throughout the criminal justice system to assure efficiency of operation while safeguarding privacy and confidentiality rights of citizens.
    • Support decentralization of juvenile detention facilities as a more effective and humane method of treating juvenile offenders.
    • Support of alternatives to incarceration and measures to promote a fair and efficient jury system.
  • Economic Development
    • Support programs and policies that would assure that Public Authorities be representative, accountable and subject to open government laws and regulations
    • Support Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) when a majority of local business owners determine that a BID can provide supplemental services and job opportunities which cannot be provided with city resources. BIDs should be held accountable to and audited by appropriate city government agencies, required to hold annual meetings for their company and required to submit to public hearings and ballot approval before BID contracts are renewed by the city. At least 51% of the BID members must approve the renewal.
    • Support commercial rent regulation that will provide a reasonable solution to the problem of steadily rising commercial rents. The League supports commercial rent legislation which promotes economic opportunity and development, sets forth criteria for the determination of reasonable rent increases and negotiation of lease terms, and is fair to both the landlord and the commercial tenant.
  • Education
    • Advocate quality public education in New York with emphasis on assuring that education funds support classroom services.
    • Support inclusion of the responsibilities of the Department of Education in the City Charter.
    • Support Mayoral Control of the public schools;
    • Supports fixed terms for members of the Panel for Educational Policy who are appointed by the Mayor, the Borough Presidents and the Public Advocate.
    • Support quality early childhood education, Head Start and universal pre-kindergarten.
  • Election Law
    • Support public financing of campaigns; a voluntary program of public matching funds for small donations
    • Support comprehensive campaign finance reform and establishment of an independent, rigorous enforcement regime to ensure compliance
    • Support full disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures
    • Oppose term limits for elected city officials.
    • Support continuation of run-off elections for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, which may be achieved through Instant Runoff Voting.
    • Support a Board of Elections of 10 Commissioners -- two from each borough representing the two major parties with Board activities administered by a single Director.
    • Support mandatory training for inspectors, recruitment of bilingual inspectors and appropriate compensation for inspectors.
    • Support increased instruction on the use of voting machines, including demonstrations at the polls; increased publication of polling places, dates and times of registration.
    • Support the implementation of voting systems and procedures which are secure, accurate, recountable, and endorse a precinct-based paper ballot optical scan voting system with a ballot marker to provide accessibility.
    • Support publication of sample ballots on the Board of Elections website to be accessible through the poll site locator.
    • Support elimination of the LLC (limited liability corporation) loophole which allows these LLCs to contribute to candidates as individuals rather than as corporations, which enables them to give larger and multiple contributions.
  • Housing
    • Support government policies which assure an adequate supply of decent affordable housing, including the continuation of rent regulation, adequate financing for public housing, and provisions that guarantee that affordable housing provided in return for tax abatements to private owners remain permanently affordable.
    • Support guaranteed inclusionary zoning; utilizing neighborhood median income rather than the federally defined area median income (AMI).
    • Support increased density, provided that the developments are limited to locations where there is adequate infrastructure, subway and bus service, schools and parks to support the development.
    • Support a citywide inventory of vacant land and buildings.
  • Natural Resources
    • Energy – Support environmentally sound policies that reduce energy growth rates, emphasize energy conservation and encourage the use of renewable energy resources while supplying a reliable and safe energy supply
    • Water resources - Support measures to improve and protect NYC surface water, groundwater and drinking water.
    • Air Quality - Support and promote measures to improve New York City’s air quality:encourage energy and waste reduction, and adoption of renewable energy sources.
    • Support working with other advocacy groups, City officials and members of the City Council to pass specific bills that help improve New York City’s air and water for the health of those who work, visit and live in New York City.
  • Transportation
    • Support action to promote energy-efficient and environmentally sound transportation systems that improve the well-being of cities and other communities and afford better access to housing and jobs.