Column: Breaking down the ballot for the Nov. 8 midterm elections

Councilmember Amanda Farías encourages voters to get to the polls early and also vote on four ballot propositions impacting NYC.
Photo courtesy Amanda Farías

Voting plays a key role in choosing where government funding and resources will go, determining a better quality of life for everyone. Voting gives you the fundamental power to create positive change for your community both short and long term.

As I aim to encourage more turnout, it is not lost on me that the Bronx historically has been one of the boroughs with extremely low voter turnout, and very low levels of investment from the city, state and federal levels. While we have seen increased participation in some elections, that is not what we are seeing consistently at the ballot box. So this November make sure to join the rest of your community and exercise your right to vote.

This week early voting begins on Oct. 29 for the Nov. 8 midterm election. Let’s talk big picture. You will decide who represents you and your community in Congress and also help determine which party will have a majority in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Your vote will help determine what federal legislation gets voted on and which presidential appointments – like Supreme Court justices – get approved.

Now let’s talk about where it matters most — on your block — voting for local government.

Our ballot will also determine who is chosen to lead New York state, including the governor and state legislators. The state is responsible for passing important legislation on housing and statewide climate action like the recently signed legislative package that will strengthen New York’s commitment to clean energy, while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Our ballot will also have local judges that guide our state’s justice system, and four ballot proposals which give us the chance to consider proposed changes to the New York City Charter — our city’s constitution.

See more about the proposals below:

Proposal 1 would allow the state to sell bonds that fund environmental projects such as flood mitigation, land conservation and water quality improvement.

Proposal 2 would add introductory text to the New York City Charter, which guides city government, to promote justice and equity for all New Yorkers.

Proposal 3 would establish a racial equity office, plan and commission that would require citywide racial equity plans and establish a commission on racial equity.

Proposal 4 would 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.

I’ll be voting yes on all four propositions. Make sure to do your research and vote on all four of the proposals to use your voice.

Voting can be overwhelming, so it is important that we all stay prepared and well informed. To view a sample ballot and see the candidates, or find your early voting or election day poll sites, go to Need to read up on candidates? Visit

Remember that early voting starts this Saturday, Oct. 29 and goes through Sunday, Nov. 6 at varying times. Lastly, Tuesday, Nov. 8 is Election Day when the polls will be open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. As always you can call my office if you need help with any of the above information at (718) 792-1140.

Amanda Farías is the councilmember for the 18th District, representing parts of Castle Hill, Clason Point, Harding Park, Parkchester, Shorehaven and Soundview. To read her previous column, click here.

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