Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums

Published: Summer 1998

An election is an opportunity – an opportunity to learn about the candidates and where they each stand on key issues and an opportunity to elect good leaders, who will work for the goals that you support – whether the election is for board positions in a cooperative or condominium or for local or national officials. By learning the positions of the candidates and making careful choices, we can elect leaders and support policies that are important to us.

In our own homes, we might organize behind the candidate committed to establishing an exercise room, or to retiring the underlying mortgage, or to eliminating (or strengthening) sublet restrictions. Naturally, we expect that these one-issue candidates will also be committed to keeping the cooperative or condominium affordable while maintaining it in peak condition.

In the community at large, we can actively support the candidates and the existing officials who acknowledge and supported the goals important to cooperatives and condominiums, including those mentioned in the pages of this Newsletter. Naturally, we will also examine the other positions of the candidates whom we tend to favor because of their commitment to co-op and condo issues.

This year, in the State of New York, our Congressional representatives, our Assembly members and all of our State Senators face election. You will meet candidates at subway stops and in public places, eager to shake your hand, to hand you a flyer, and to quickly ask for your vote. And your vote will be very important to them in the primary election on Tuesday, September 15th and then in the general election on November 3rd.

Statistics show that only a small percentage of eligible voters actually vote – particularly in primary elections. This multiplies the strength of each person who actually does vote. It also enhances our ability to make a case with the candidates. If you raise issues, they are likely to be noted and remembered. The acknowledged fact that homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums have deep roots in their communities and do, therefore, take the time to vote enhances our "grass roots" strength.

Try, whenever you can, to stop and talk with the candidates you meet. Think in advance about the two or three key issues that you want to discuss. We would suggest that you begin by asking each candidate to work actively for property tax fairness for homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums (see Tax Action, Summer 1998); your second question could be about a specific issue for your neighborhood, your children’s school, etc. If there’s time for another question, you can select among the many issues discussed in the pages of the CNYC Newsletter.

As you decide who will receive your vote in the September 15th primary, we urge you to consider how well the various candidates understand the needs of cooperatives and condominiums. CNYC will do the same, writing to all candidates with a brief questionnaire on co-op and condo issues. The responses we received will be compiled and summarized in the autumn issue of this Newsletter to help you make informed decisions for the November 3rd general election.


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