Voters in New York City easily approved three ballot measures proposed by leaders of the city’s Racial Justice Commission.
Residents of the nation’s largest city voted to create a new racial-equity bureaucracy that will include a chief equity officer, following the advice of the commission that was created last year by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The first proposal residents passed will add a preamble to the city charter that acknowledges the city has a “grave” history of “injustices and atrocities,” while declaring the city will be “just and equitable city for all” and that “diversity is our strength.” The measure passed with 72.3% of the vote, according to the unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections.
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Another proposal, which passed with 69.8% of the vote, approved the amendment of the city charter to establish an Office of Racial Equity that will be headed by a chief equity officer. The newly created office will be tasked with a racial-equity commission that will guide the city’s racial justice priorities and require all city agencies to produce a racial-equity plan every two years.
The third proposal, which passed with 81% of the vote, requires the city to establish a cost of living metric that will “provide a clearer picture of the racial wealth gap” in New York City, which will “guide the City’s decisions as it develops and administers programs and services.”
The de Blasio-created commission behind the measures released its report in December, with its leaders arguing that the proposals were merely “steps toward justice” in the city.
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“Uprooting structural racism is not a onetime event,” the conclusion of the report read. “The Commission heard many recommendations that for various reasons were not included in the final proposals. The Commission knows much more work still needs to be done.”