As we sit here in The Forum newsroom on Wednesday afternoon and reflect on the many races, the hard-fought victories, landslide defeats, and the ballots cast in-between, we cannot help but issue a warm kudos to all winners.
For the purposes of this hallowed space this week, we are not simply tipping our collective cap to all the incumbents, challengers, councilmembers, district attorneys or borough presidents who either kept their jobs or aced the interview for a new one.
This congratulatory note is for the voting public. You did it.
Just by coming out to vote in the local races – the ones that truly matter – you have earned our respect. And for the decisions you made, you’ve earned our gratitude.
We asked you to vote for incumbent City Councilman Eric Ulrich. And boy did you—all 14,862 of you. The residents and business owners of the 32nd Council District will reap the benefits of four more years.
We asked you to vote “No” to the first ballot question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?”
Mr. Ulrich said, “My job as an elected official is to represent my district. I simply cannot, in good conscience, go against the views of my constituents on such an important matter. I have always supported collective bargaining rights and have fought very hard to protect public pensions under two administrations (Bloomberg and de Blasio). I won’t allow the ConCon question to tarnish that record.”
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato added, “The NYS Constitution, while not a perfect document by any means, gives collective bargaining and other labor rights a permanent seat at the table, which is not something any of us can afford to lose.”
Nothing to worry about, Councilman. No need to fret, Assemblywoman. Nearly 3 million “No” tallies told the tale: New York doesn’t need it. New York doesn’t want it.
We IMPLORED you to vote “Yes” on ballot question 2: “The proposed amendment to section 7 of Article 2 of the State Constitution would allow a court to reduce or revoke the pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s duties. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?”
This inquiry made us laugh heartily out loud. Hmm…Should we give the courts the power to pull the pension of a public servant who turns out to be a crook? Hell YES.
This is a soft spot for Queens. You see, the beloved World’s Borough has produced some of the worst political plunderers in modern history. Like we said when we advised you to vote Yes: “Perhaps the promise of a lost pension will keep the next batch of greedy elected gremlins on the (mostly) straight and narrow.”
And oh how you agreed. Some 2,379,004 voted in favor of reducing or revoking said retirement plans.
Once again, congratulations to the voting public. Your ballots came through loudly and clearly.