December 9, 2021
December 9, 2021 – Today is a historic day for immigrant enfranchisement. After decades of tireless advocacy, New York City just became the largest municipality in the country to allow legal residents to vote, following a veto-proof margin with 36 out of 51 councilmembers sponsoring the bill. We join NY City Council Members, immigration advocates, community-based organizations, and champions of civic engagement to celebrate the expansion of municipal voting rights for over 900,000 non-citizen New Yorkers.
Through our “Communicate” priority area, AAFSC works to amplify the voices of the marginalized and under-resourced communities and give a platform to voices who are often excluded from conversations about their rights. In September, we were proud to have testified in favor of Intro 1867. Through our continuous public engagement efforts and Know Your Rights trainings, we have seen firsthand the power of equipping immigrant community members with the knowledge and foundational tools to succeed. As COVID-19 continues to impact marginalized immigrants and refugees, it has never been more important to ensure these individuals have a voice in our government.
This significant measure to expand local democracy is a first step to improving the future of New York City, one in which immigrant communities will play a central role in ensuring a robust and equitable recovery from COVID-19. At a time when voting rights are experiencing critical threats across the nation, this change sets an important example for strong democracies everywhere. We thank the NY City Council Members who sponsored this groundbreaking bill and we congratulate all the Our City, Our Vote advocates for their valiant efforts to uplift NYC’s immigrant communities.
To read the NYT article: New York Moves to Allow 800,000 Noncitizens to Vote in Local Elections – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
To learn more about AAFSC’s Communicate Priority Area: Arab-American Family Support Center | 2021 Impact: Communicate – Arab-American Family Support Center (aafscny.org)