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Manhattan Borough Board Resolution Calling on the New York City charter Revision Commission To Forgo Placing Proposals on the 2010 Ballot

Whereas, the Mayor of the City of New York has convened a charter Revision Commission to review "the entire City Charter" and propose "changes that will improve the lives of New Yorkers;" and

Whereas, Charter Revision presents a significant opportunity to engage New Yorkers in a substantive conversation about their government; and

Whereas, history has shown that the most inclusive and reform-minded commissions, such as the 1989 Ravitch/Schwarz Commission appointed by Mayor Koch, require significant time for public debate and vetting of ideas; and

Whereas, proposing initiatives for the November 2010 ballot would unnecessarily limit the Commission's timeframe for conducting a thorough analysis and considering public input; and

Whereas, waiting to propose initiatives until 2011 and 2012 would likely have little effect on voter turnout.  As evidenced by the vote totals for the 2002 and 2003 Charter amendments, where 24,000 more votes were cast in the 2003 off-year election, voter turnout depends upon the degree to which the public has been engaged;

Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Manhattan Borough Board calls on the City Charter Commission to forgo placing any proposals on the 2010 ballot, and instead, first engage in a comprehensive public debate about City government before considering any proposals.

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