WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz
You should know that on December 9, 2021, a vote is scheduled to take place in the New York City Council that could allow 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections in our city, including the race for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, and City Council.
This is a dangerous and misguided effort being made by some elected officials to overlook the law which offers citizens – not noncitizens – in New York City, the right to vote.
You may already know that Mayor-Elect Eric Adams won the June 2021 Democratic Primary by only 7,197 votes. In the November 2021 General election, Adams received a total of 271,834 votes – a fraction of 800,000.
You should know that if this City Council Intro 1867 passes, regardless of its actual legality, New York City, which is home to both the United Nations and Wall Street could easily be taken over by any group of noncitizens who live here for 30 days and vote for the leader of their choice.
Why would we ever make ourselves vulnerable to this kind of possible threat?
Although lawlessness may seem to be in fashion these days, I urge you, my dear reader, to oppose efforts to ignore the actual law and instead permit noncitizens, the right to vote and to raise your voices and be heard against this radical agenda.
It is important for you to know that much of my life’s work as an elected official has been working closely with many noncitizens and celebrating many ethnicities.
For example, in 2006, I organized and led “The Great Walk in Solidarity with Immigrants,” one of the largest rallies where thousands of documented and undocumented immigrants marched in New York City;
I was the most outspoken Member of the New York State Senate on the DREAM Act, and my support for DACA is fervent;
I played a significant role with the IDNYC Program, offering documented and undocumented New Yorkers a way to receive discounts at museums and cultural institutions, libraries, banks and credit unions, movies, plays, BigAppleRx prescription drugs, fitness and health centers, Food Bazaar supermarket, veterans designation benefits, and animal care centers;
I worked very hard to ensure that our immigrant community would be counted in the annual census, without fear of ICE.
It is important for you to know that when a permanent resident applies to become a naturalized citizen, there is a rigorous process of study and testing to guarantee that new citizens understand the basics of the history of the United States of America and how our government functions. Under the New York City Council proposal, 800,000 noncitizen voters with no comparable understanding of the history of this country and government could, with nothing more than 30 days of residency here, be allowed to pick a name at the ballot box with no understanding of what that office is.
Ladies and gentlemen I fully support our immigrant community, but I also respect our laws and cherish my privilege as an American citizen to vote. I encourage all New Yorkers to pay close attention to what is going on here. I don’t believe that this proposal will hold up in court if it is passed by the City Council, so stay tuned.
I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is What You Should Know.