Would you mind talking a bit more about the ballot initiatives in NYC?  I’m voting tonight and am definitely voting yes on campaign finance (proposal one), and am leaning towards yes on proposal three (term limits for community boards), but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around proposal two (Civic Engagement Commission) especially because the main counter argument seems to be “it creates extra bureaucracy” , which I just don’t know enough about to verify.

I don’t know if I’m necessarily the best source, but I’ll give it a go. 

I don’t find arguments that “it creates extra bureaucracy” to be persuasive. For the public sector to do *anything* requires them to hire people to do it, which can technically be described as “extra bureaucracy” by those who’ve never bothered to read Weber’s work on the benefits of bureaucratic organization. 

Proposal 2 creates a Civic Engagement Commission of 15 people, who can hire a staff to help them do their job. Given what the Commission is meant to do (more on which in a second), that staff is going to be pretty small. 

What does this Civic Engagement Commission do? It’s supposed to help people be more engaged in local politics by establishing citywide participatory budgeting, by providing translators at poll sites so that all New Yorkers can participate in politics, by working with NGOs and community groups to help them with their work in their communities. 

It is the mildest of good government proposals and is entirely inoffensive. 


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