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Americans for Citizen Voting

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News

By: Marcela García

Progressive policies seem to be having a moment in New York. In the span of two weeks, local elected officials opened the nation’s first two safe injection sites in Manhattan and granted noncitizens with legal status the right to vote in municipal elections.

The latter policy, enacted last Thursday with overwhelming support from the City Council, is particularly historic. It makes New York the largest city in the nation to make legal residents — approximately more than 800,000 people — eligible to vote for mayor, city council, comptroller, and other local elective offices as early as 2023. In a city where almost 40 percent of its 8 million residents are immigrants (including immigrants who wouldn’t be eligible under the new law, such as those without legal status), it is a massive exercise in enfranchisement — and a step in the right direction.

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