True Cost of Living


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

Proposal 3

Measure the True Cost of Living

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?

Ballot Abstract Text

This proposal will require City government to develop and report, beginning in 2024, an annual “true cost of living” measurement of what it costs to live in New York City without consideration of public, private, or informal assistance. The proposed measurement is intended to focus on dignity rather than poverty, by considering the cost of meeting essential needs including, but not limited to, housing, childcare, child and dependent expenses, food, transportation, healthcare, clothing, general hygiene products, cleaning products, household items, telephone service, and internet service. The “true cost of living” measurement would be reported in addition to standards that are used to measure poverty or set eligibility for public benefits. It would not create a direct or indirect right of action. 

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.