Ballot Questions

People voting in privacy booths

BALLOT QUESTIONS

Three questions will appear on your ballot November 8, 2022. Learn more about what’s on your ballot below.

The November 2022 election is your chance to consider proposed changes to the New York City Charter—our city’s constitution. How? There are three questions from the Racial Justice Commission on the back of your ballot that you can vote yes or no on.

Proposal 1

Add a Statement of Values to Guide Government

The Commission’s first proposal is to add a preamble to the NYC Charter.  The New York City Charter does not currently have a preamble. Adding a preamble would allow New Yorkers to adopt a vision and statement of foundational values intended to guide City government in fulfilling its duties.

Ballot Question #1: Add a Statement of Values to Guide Government

This proposal would amend the New York City Charter to: 

Add a preamble, which would be an introductory statement of values and vision aspiring toward “a just and equitable city for all” New Yorkers; and

Include in the preamble a statement that the City must strive 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.” 

The preamble is intended to guide City government in fulfilling its duties. 

Shall this proposal be adopted?

Read the ballot proposal abstract»
Proposal 2

Establish a Racial Equity Office, Plan, and Commission

The Commission’s second proposal is to create an Office of Racial Equity, require Racial Equity Plans, and form a Commission on Racial Equity.

Ballot Question #2: Establish a Racial Equity Office, Plan, and Commission

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:

Require citywide and agency-specific Racial Equity Plans every two years. The plans would include intended strategies and goals to improve racial equity and to reduce or eliminate racial disparities; 

Establish an Office of Racial Equity and appoint a Chief Equity Officer to advance racial equity and coordinate the City’s racial equity planning process. The Office would support City agencies in improving access to City services and programs for those people and communities who have been negatively affected by previous policies or actions, and collect and report data related to equity; and

Establish a Commission on Racial Equity, appointed by City elected officials. In making appointments to this Commission, elected officials would be required to consider appointees who are representative of or have experience advocating for a diverse range of communities. The Commission would identify and propose priorities to inform the racial equity planning process and review agency and citywide Racial Equity Plans.

Shall this proposal be adopted?

Read the ballot proposal abstract»
Proposal 3

Measure the True Cost of Living

This proposal would amend the City Charter to require the City to create a True Cost of Living measure to track the actual cost in New York City of meeting essential needs.

Ballot Question #3: Measure the True Cost of Living

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:

Require the City to create a “true cost of living” measure to track the actual cost in New York City of meeting essential needs, including housing, food, childcare, transportation, and other necessary costs, and without considering public, private, or informal assistance, in order to inform programmatic and policy decisions; and

Require the City government to report annually on the “true cost of living” measure. 

Shall this proposal be adopted?

Read the ballot proposal abstract»

Download the Full Report

NYC for Racial Justice: Final Report of the NYC Racial Justice Commission Cover

In developing the three Ballot Questions, Racial Justice Commission members heard and learned from everyday New Yorkers, community advocates and scholars and experts.

This full report presents in detail three structural changes, in the form of Ballot Questions, to appear on the November 8, 2022, ballot, along with a roadmap for further action the City should take to dismantle structural racism at all levels of government.