The New York City Council introduced a new bill on Thursday that would allow green card holders and nonresident aliens with a work visa to vote in municipal elections. In order to be able to vote, an individcual must be a resident of New York City for at least 30 days before voting. Currently, about 1 million New York City residents are unable to vote in local elections due to their immigration status, despite paying taxes to the city.
The bill was introduced by city Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who first came to the United States with a green card in 1983.
I can tell you what is un-American—denying people who pay their taxes the right to choose representatives that will voice their concerns and representatives that will determine where their money is allocated. It is un-American to leave them out of the that process. Today in 2020, here in one of the most progressive cities in the country, we will take our place in history to allow green card and worker permits holders to participate in our municipal elections. Our immigration communities, many of which have been living here for decades, will finally be empowered and enfranchised.
If enacted, the earliest the bill would be effective is for the 2021 citywide elections.