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Our nation’s local elected leaders work tirelessly every day to reflect their city’s values and represent community members. These leaders represent the level of government closest to the people they govern, and they focus on the critical issues that matter to the people of this great nation. In this updated 2018 edition of City Rights in an Era of Preemption we are continuing to observe aggressive moves by state legislatures nationwide to usurp local authority. Ultimately, people who live in cities want control over their own destinies. But when states seek blanket policies that run counter to the values of its cities, local leaders do not stand down.
This resolution places proposed charter amendment language on the ballot. The ballot language establishes voluntary limits on campaign spending and equal public financing of campaigns for elections, allows participating candidates for Mayor and Council to voluntarily limit their campaign spending and receive an equal amount of public financing from the General Fund for each office and to agree not to accept or spend private campaign contributions, requires the City Attorney and City Clerk to administer the system with strict accountability to assure that all funds are used in the manner for which they are intended.
The ordinance requires that all candidates comply with contribution limits and disclosure requirements. The ordinance also established the Campaign Finance Program (the Program). Candidates who join the Program also agree to comply with strict expenditure limits, and in return they become eligible to receive public matching funds for their campaigns, based on contributions they raise from NYC residents.
This model act allows a city or county to conduct a local election using ranked choice voting in which voters rank the candidates for office in order of preference. Ranked choice voting elections may be used for single-winner elections, such as Mayor, or for elections that elect multiple candidates to office, such as city council. This model act authorizes ranked choice voting methods to be adopted by ballot measure, initiative ordinance, or charter amendment.
This ordinance establishes a home rule charter for the county. This charter decentralizes certain state powers to the county board of commissioners and grants the board of commissioners certain rights to self-governance and independence. The ordinance includes language that defines the jurisdictional boundaries of this home rule district and claims specific powers for the exercise of county and municipal government bodies in this district.
Within cities, residents face stark disparities in their access to fresh, healthy produce, with low-income communities often the most affected by this limited access. Inequitable access to food perpetuates poor health outcomes among low-income populations and undermines efforts to improve public health and promote community. The increase in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and some cancers have put us on a path to change modern history: many children born today will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. In addition to nutritional and health impacts, the flow of food dollars out of the region represent a significant loss for local economies. Yet there are bright spots of innovation, where local policies promote and increase residents' access to healthy food. While there is no single solution to address this large and interconnected system of access to affordable, healthy food, there is a range policy strategies that can help develop local food capacities, enhance public health and improve urban economies.
An ordinance encouraging government entities to purchase locally grown food by providing local producers a bid preference depending on whether the producer is local, sustainable, or a combination of both.
Passing a local resolution is one way for communities to promote obesity prevention policies. Today more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and among children and adolescents, 16.3 percent are obese and 31.9 percent are obese or overweight. Obese children are likely to become obese adults: in fact, an obese older teenager has up to an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. The health consequences of this trend are dire. If the obesity epidemic continues unchecked, experts warn that excess weight could reduce average life expectancy by five years or more over the next several decades.
This ordinance reforms campaign finance regulations in elections for county positions. This ordinance requires candidates for county offices to disclose the names and size of donations during any election cycle for any donation over a specified level to the county clerk before a specified date preceding that election.