Joins Susan Lerner and Betsy Gotbaum, who are already on the board
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sheryl Huggins Salomon
(October 9, 2020) – Today, the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting NYC announced that Rosemonde Pierre-Louis has joined the executive board. The position became vacant when Maya Wiley stepped down to explore a run for New York City Mayor. Pierre-Louis is an attorney and a longtime public sector leader who currently is the Chief Operating Officer at the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. She joins Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY and Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director of Citizens Union, who are already on the board.
Pierre-Louis is a leading voice, advocate and mobilizing force on issues impacting New York’s most vulnerable, enabling them to receive access to justice, services and support. From 2014 through 2016, she served in the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. From 2006-2013, Pierre-Louis served as Manhattan Deputy Borough President during the administration of then-Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.
In addition, Pierre-Louis has served in leadership positions at several public interest law and community development organizations, and for six years she was an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. She was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission for the City of New York in 2019.
“Ranked-choice voting is about ensuring equity in how we choose those who represent us in public office. It gives voters more choice, while providing a more equitable path for candidates from Black, brown and low-income communities,” said Pierre-Louis. “I’ve spent my career working to ensure that all voices are heard, and I’m proud to serve on this committee with individuals who have shown unparalleled dedication to the public good.”
Rank the Vote NYC has held over 20 training sessions throughout the five boroughs about ranked choice voting, how it works, and its impact on elections. The trainings have ranged from ones specifically for women of color to civil service and labor to good government. Rank the Vote NYC has partnered with local political clubs including Four Freedoms Democratic Club and Lambda Independent Democrats, as well as The Black Institute and NALEO Educational Fund to name a few. So far over 200 candidates, staff, and partners have participated. Trainings remain ongoing, interested parties can sign up here.
The Democracy Fund surveyed voters from ten cities, three where Ranked Choice Voting is in use and seven where it is not. The two year study found that voters in places with Ranked Choice Voting were happier with campaign conduct and experienced less negative campaigning than voters in places that do not use Ranked Choice Voting. A second comparative survey of voters in California in cities that do and do not use Ranked Choice Voting found that a majority supported adopting Ranked Choice Voting to improve election conduct. Other surveys conducted in California found major gains for people of color, increasing representation in majority-minority districts by 17 percent, multi-ethnic districts by 24 percent, and white majority districts by 9 percent. Ranked Choice Voting prevents the “spoiler effect,” and encourages coalition building.
“Ranked Choice Voting helps New Yorkers hold candidates accountable to communities of color by giving voters more voice and more choice. It also empowers more candidates of color to run without the worry of vote splitting, and encourages issue-driven campaigns over mudslinging,” said David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor, City of New York.
About Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank their top five candidates in order of preference. If voters still want to vote for just one candidate, they can. A candidate who collects a majority of the vote, fifty percent plus one, wins. If there’s no majority winner, then the last place candidate will be eliminated and the second choice votes for that candidate are redistributed. The process is repeated until there is a majority winner.
In 2021, 70 percent of the City Council will be term limited, as well as all five borough presidents, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Campaign Finance Board predicts that at least 500 candidates will be competing for open seats, meaning up to 12 candidates vying for each City Council seat. A 2018 Common Cause/NY study found that 64 percent of multi-candidate primaries in New York City were won with less than 50 percent of the vote, and not a single race with 4 or more candidates produced a majority winner. Candidates elected through Ranked Choice Voting will always win with a majority of the vote.
Ranked Choice Voting has been endorsed by: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Senator Robert Jackson, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Senator Zellnor Myrie, State Senator Jessica Ramos, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, State Senator Julia Salazar, State Senator James Sanders, Jr., State Senator Luis Sepúlveda, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Assembly Member Ron Kim, Assembly Member Walter Mosley, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Assembly Member David Weprin, Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr., Council Member Rafael Espinal, Council Member Ben Kallos, Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin, Council Member Mark Levine, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Council Member Keith Powers, Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Council Member Carlina Rivera, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Council Member Paul Vallone, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University, former candidate for NY Attorney General, Cynthia Nixon, Actor and Activist, Bishop Orlando Findlayter, and Reverend Dr. Ray Blanchette.