You think you got the right stuff to be a City Council member? Or maybe Borough President? Or even for those willing to take the risk, the next mayor?
Well, this being New York City, the road to the marble halls of power are lined with green, and the city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB), who is charged with distributing taxpayer dollars to run campaigns for city office, is set to teach potential candidates how to access the money.
That after CFB announced today the launch of its 5 Borough Tour, aimed at providing Saturday afternoon trainings in each borough for anyone interested in running for city office in 2021.
“The CFB’s matching funds program helps more candidates run for city office, so we want to expand the pool of potential candidates by making our trainings accessible to more New Yorkers,” said Amy Loprest, Executive Director of the CFB.
The voluntary public financing program matches small-dollar contributions from individuals who reside in New York City, helping to amplify the voices of New Yorkers in city elections. A $10 contribution from a NYC resident to a participating candidate in the 2021 election could be worth as much as $90 to their campaign ($8-to-$1 matching rate).
You’ve read this right. Taxpayers will cough up eight dollars for every dollar candidates can raise within set guidelines, and 2021 is expected to be a banner city election year with 35 of the city council’s 51 seats vacant due to term limits.
And with all borough president seats vacant as well, along with the mayor’s office and the city comptroller’s office, this will be the largest election cycle CFB will oversee in its’ 30-year history.
CFB is expecting upwards of 500 campaigns to register with them for the upcoming election cycle.
The new training tour aims to meet the candidates where they are and ensure each campaign fulfills their legally mandated training requirement. The CFB plans to schedule over 250 trainings both in-office and off-site in 2019 and 2020 to support thousands of potential trainees.
In partnership with the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, and Brooklyn Public Library, each off-site training will be held at a public library branch in each borough. The public libraries are providing the space as a public service to prospective candidates.
“We hope this will further increase the diversity of candidates running for office and provide better representation for all communities in New York City’s elections. We thank our friends at the libraries for providing space for this important public service,” added Loprest.
The New to the CFB seminar is geared toward first-time candidates and campaign staff. This seminar will provide an overview of some of the expectations and demands of running for city office. The CFB recommends attending this seminar prior to the mandatory Compliance and C-SMART training.
Below is the schedule for the first round of dates, times, and locations of the trainings.
June 08 — Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard (2-4 PM)
June 22 — Eastern Parkway Library, 1044 Eastern Parkway (2-4 PM)
July 20 — Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road (2-4 PM)
August 03 — Richmondtown Library, 200 Clarke Avenue (2-4 PM)
September 14 — Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (2-4 PM)
Prospective candidates are encouraged to RSVP for a training in their borough while space is still available.