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.
PRIMARY ELECTION SEPTEMBER 15th
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
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"
QUESTION THE CANDIDATES
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 childrens school, etc. If theres
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.