Socialist Feminist Ballot Recommendations for the November 2, 2021 New York City Election

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Dear friend,

We in the Freedom Socialist Party believe in fighting back. If the struggle for abortion rights reveals anything, it’s that working people suffer while the Democrats, Republicans and the courts play a cruel game of softball with our rights. We need to break with both parties to defend our communities and ourselves. We need to organize, mobilize, and strike for our most basic freedoms. 

The ballot box has its place in this struggle. Elections are an opportunity for workers to make our voices heard. In the case of the New York City Mayor’s race, it’s a chance to vote against Democrat Eric Adams, the ex-cop candidate who is running on a fear-mongering pro-police and anti-socialist campaign. Adams is funded by big business donors who spent the pandemic exploiting workers while reaping mega profits. There is no doubt that an Adams administration will bring more of the same police abuse and greater poverty to our city. 

And then we have Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa, a perennial right-wing opportunist who parrots FOX News-style attacks on critical race theory and pledges to “refund” the NYPD, even beyond their bloated $10 billion budget. Thankfully, there’s another option beyond either of these cynical, status-quo candidates.

Mayor’s Race – Vote Cathy Rojas, Party For Socialism and Liberation

We support the working-class 14-point platform of the Rojas 4 Mayor campaign, which calls for taxing the rich, who make billions off the backs of workers; to fully fund housing; and provide healthcare, free transportation and jobs for all. Workers make the city run, and Rojas’ platform shows how it’s possible to secure a decent and safe life for all when workers take control of the resources. 

The fact that Rojas is running on a separate socialist ballot line also clearly challenges the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has on city politics to uphold the interest of real estate and corporate funders. However, Rojas has muddied this message by campaigning with self-identified socialists who run on the Democratic ticket. Principled socialist campaigns should be completely independent of the Democrats. Otherwise they foster the illusion that the Democratic party can be pushed to break with the very corporations who run it. 

We also recognize that the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) has some significant political differences with Rojas’ party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). In regards to Cuba, while we both agree with the need to end the cruel U.S. blockade, FSP believes the PSL’s refusal to support working-class Cubans demonstrating for workers democracy and basic needs run counter to the fundamental need for international solidarity of the working class. 

Despite these differences, we see a broad area of agreement on the critical issues facing the working class and the need to build a revolutionary movement. A vote for Rojas is a vote against the system and for the bold solutions we need. 

Ballot Item Recommendations

There are a number of proposed amendments to the NY State Constitution. Here’s how we recommend you vote on these based on what’s best for the working class. 

State Ballot Issues

Proposal 1, Amending the Apportionment and Redistricting Process – Vote Yes
Proposal 2, Right to Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthful Environment – Vote Yes
Proposal 3, Voter Registration Requirement – Vote Yes
Proposal 4, Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting – Vote Yes
Proposal 5, Increasing NYC Civil Court Jurisdiction – Vote Yes

Ballot Proposal 1

The proposed constitutional amendment would freeze the number of state senators at 63, amend the process for the counting of the state’s population, and tweak the redistricting commission which decides how to outline voter districts. 

Our recommendation: Vote Yes. 

This proposal is an undemocratic bundle of 5 amendments in one. The changes to the redistricting commission don’t change its nature as a corrupt product of the entrenched two-party system. Both parties manipulate districts to win seats, neither represent working people.

However, there are other parts of this proposal that are worth enacting. One of them is making sure that people are counted as residents in the neighborhood they lived in  prior to being incarcerated. This is important because people of color are disproportionately sent to prison in predominantly white parts of the state. Counting them as part of the population in their hometowns and cities helps create accurate representation and secure funding for downstate communities of color.

The other important part of this proposal is the counting of undocumented and Native people in the census. 

Because these two changes  are in the interest of working people, and the rest of the redistricting proposals don’t appear to contain any land mines, we recommend voting yes on proposal 1. 

Ballot Proposal 2 

The proposed amendment to Article I of the New York Constitution would establish the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment. 

Our recommendation: Vote Yes. 

In the age of global warming, rampant pollution and corporate environmental destruction, a constitutional right to clean air and water is more needed than ever. While this amendment will strengthen the legal basis for lawsuits against polluters, it still puts the burden on individuals who often can’t afford to fight in court. 

Real change will come from the bottom up. Grassroots pressure on local governments, regulatory agencies and prosecutors will force them to stand up to the big money polluters who easily shrug off fines as the cost of doing business, while ruining the health of entire ecosystems and communities, particularly low-income and communities of color. 

Ballot Proposal 3 

The proposed amendment allows the Legislature to enact laws permitting a citizen to register to vote less than ten days before the election. 

Our recommendation: Vote Yes. 

Over 20 states have same-day voter registration – a logical and easy way to help folks vote. This measure opens the door for NY to establish the same. As the right wing wages a racist attack on voting rights, it’s more urgent than ever to defend basic democracy and the right to vote. 

Ballot Proposal 4

The proposed amendment would delete the requirement that an absentee voter must be unable to appear at the polls by reason of absence from the county or illness or physical disability. 

Our recommendation: Vote Yes. 

Allowing voters to vote absentee regardless of the reason just makes sense. Absentee voting  is not only essential for people who are out of town, sick, or disabled; it helps folks who live in remote areas; who want to social distance; who have childcare issues, long work hours, or any of the many challenges of scheduling life under capitalism. It should be an option for all. 

Ballot Proposal 5

The proposed amendment would increase the New York City Civil Court’s jurisdiction by allowing it to hear and decide claims for up to $50,000 instead of the current limit of $25,000. 

Our recommendation: Vote Yes. 

This housekeeping amendment helps alleviate case overload in the State Supreme court, and is basically an adjustment for inflation. This will help resolve cases more quickly for working class New Yorkers. 

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We hope you find this letter helpful. We want to hear from you! To share your opinions on the issues raised in this letter or find out more about volunteering with FSP and our many campaigns, you can email me at

In solidarity,
Jed Holtz
Freedom Socialist Party, NYC Branch
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