Op-Ed | Overwhelming support for racial justice ballot initiatives serves as a mandate from the people of NYC


On Election Day, New York City residents made their voices heard in overwhelming fashion – voting for three ballot measures aimed at eliminating racial barriers and promoting racial equity. The measures were created by the NYC Racial Justice Commission, a charter revision commission formed in 2021 after yearslong citywide protests against racial injustice. After nine months of its two-year mandate to identify and root out structural racism, the Commission delivered their proposals to the office of the City Clerk to be voted on this year. These landslide results reflect the public’s commitment to a race-conscious city government and a desire for our city to further evidence-based approaches to upending the ongoing impacts of racial inequity.

On ballot measure 1, 72.3 percent of residents across the five boroughs voted to adopt a preamble to the NYC Charter which lays out the city’s values and vision as aspiring toward “a just and equitable city” for all New Yorkers. Just shy of three quarters of voters agreed that the statement should include the city goal of striving to remedy “past and continuing harms and to reconstruct, revise, and reimagine our foundations, structures, institutions, and laws to promote justice and equity for all New Yorkers.” In short, the vast majority of New Yorkers voted to see a clear commitment to disrupting racial inequity in our city’s foundational document.