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Green Party Supports Huntington, NY Council District Vote 12/22/09

Update: According to Newsday, the pro-council district proposal failed. The Town of Huntington will still vote for council members in an at-large system.

“The Green Party of Suffolk supports the proposition to bring council districts to Huntington town,” said its chair Roger Snyder, a Huntington resident. “A key value of the Green Party is Grassroots Democracy, and it is clear that at-large districts are the farthest from that ideal.”

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009,  voters in the Town of Huntington will be able to vote in favor of setting up council districts, or a ward system, to elect their town council members. “A system that offers better representation from all parts of a town, with smaller districts and an opportunity to be closer to one’s elected representative is a win for all a towns residents,” said Snyder. “Experience in other towns in Suffolk and Nassau counties has shown that a system of Council Districts works better for residents and their representatives.”

The current Huntington at-large electoral system diminishes the voting power of some residents, reducing representation of all of a town’s neighborhoods. Council districts make it easier for citizen candidates to participate by providing more reasonable sized districts. Currently the town council district, with over 200,000 residents, is three to four times the size of Suffolk County legislative districts.

“This change would be a good step towards insuring a representative government in Huntington,” Snyder continued, “and we urge a yes vote on Dec. 22, 2009.”

The Green Party is an alternative party to the Democrats and Republicans. The four pillars of the Green Party are: Nonviolence/Peace; Grassroots Democracy; Social and Economic Justice; and Ecological Wisdom. You can enroll in the Green Party by checking the box marked “Other” on the voter registration form and writing in the word “Green” on the line next to it.

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3 Responses

  1. It’s reasoning like this that has made me leave the Democratic, and now the Green parties. A ward system REDUCES the power that individual voters have by reducing the number of times and candidates that can be voted for, and put MORE power in the hands of those that run the parties. DEMOCRACY relies on ALL the people having EQUAL power in the voting process.
    My only hope is that enough people will see that they’ll only have control of ONE representative and ONE vote, as opposed to four.

    • I would be interested in hearing circumstances where you felt you were heard and responded to under town-wide races.

      In my experience, I am treated as 1 in a pool of 200k in a town-wide system, and in a councilmatic system I would be 1 in a pool of 50k in a ward system. My voice would be better heard. Also in a town-wide system, I have had the feeling that no one is directly responsible to my concerns.

      Now my preference would be a town-wide weighted voting system which would allow affinity groups that are not bounded by the happenstance of geography to have their voices heard. But that would require state-wide legislation.

    • Hello, Justan,

      I disagree that it is better to be at-large. When there are districts, a person who really cares about an issue can still lobby and educate all of the elected officials, even the ones not directly in their district.

      And, in addition, I look at these democratic structures in terms of my right to be a candidate/elected official as well. In a big town, with at-large districts, it is nearly impossible for a regular citizen to get enough votes to win, or even a small party. When the districts are smaller, it allows new people and new groups to break in by winning over the hearts and minds of their close neighbors.

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