Candidate for Mayor Andrew Yang wants young adults and non-citizens to have the right to vote.
The expanding of the electorate to include 16- and 17-years-old as well as lawful permanent residents is central to his vision for increased civic engagement.
“It would transform the political culture here in New York City for the better and give young people a true voice in their future,” the Democrat announced Tuesday in Battery Park.
“Immigrants form the core of so many of our neighborhoods and communities,” he said, adding: “This is their city, too.”
But Yang himself has never voted in a New York City election, despite having lived here for 25 years. He missed some federal and state elections as well.
“I’m very excited about it,” he told NY1 of voting in a municipal election for the first time in next month’s primary. Yang said he would likely cast his ballot during the early-voting period.
Yang was accompanied Tuesday by City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, a Yang campaign supporter and co-sponsor of the “Our City, Our Vote” bill to amend the city charter to grant municipal voting rights to New York’s legal residents.
Yang said 16- and 17-year-olds and green card holders can be added to the electorate by creating of a category of municipal voters and defining who’s eligible. He said he’d support legislation advancing the concept at the state and federal levels.
The candidate also called for deeper investment in the city Board of Elections and full funding of the Civic Engagement Commission.