Mayor Adams announces $5 million commitment to Racial Justice Commission

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May 2, 2022

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a $5 million commitment to the New York City Racial Justice Commission (RJC) to educate New Yorkers about the three ballot proposals that they will see in the November general election. RJC’s outreach plans prioritize equity, accessibility and linguistic justice, while making a special effort to reach groups protected by the Voting Rights Act.

“Fairness and justice go hand in hand and are essential to building a prosperous city that serves all New Yorkers. And while our city has come a long way, we still have work to do,” said Mayor Adams. “I am proud to support the efforts of the Racial Justice Commission to ensure that New Yorkers can participate fully in our democracy with transparency. These three ballot initiatives aim to put racial equity at the heart of New York City government.

“After hearing from BIPOC New Yorkers in all five boroughs about the continuing racial injustices and disparities they face as they seek opportunity and a better way of life, the Racial Justice Commission has crafted three ballot measures to begin the work of preventing and reducing these inequalities. as we recover from COVID and move forward as a multicultural city,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, President, RJC. “With generous funding provided by Mayor Adams, the commission will be able to reach and educate New Yorkers about how these measures would begin to dismantle structural racism in our city and ensure fairness as a as an essential function and responsibility of government.”

“These proposals seek to fundamentally change the way city government operates by enshrining equitable principles in the city’s constitution,” said Henry Garrido, Vice Chairman of the NYC Racial Justice Commission and Executive Director of DC 37 and AFSCME. “Collectively, the commission has worked to put these proposals on the ballot with the goal of improving the lives of New Yorkers. I encourage all New Yorkers to learn how these proposals could impact their lives and make up their minds on each at the polls.

Simultaneously functioning as the Charter Review Commission, the RJC is tasked with educating voters and publicizing ballot measures ahead of the election. If New York City voters adopt these proposals, the charter will incorporate the nation’s broadest structural racial equity laws:

  1. Add a statement of values ​​to guide the government,
  2. Establish an office, plan and commission for racial equity, and
  3. Measure the true cost of living.

Initial plans incorporate strategies to deeply engage New Yorkers through partnerships with grassroots community organizations, creative and accessible communications, and strategic paid media. The RJC seeks city-certified Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs) for contracting purposes, with the goal of contracting at least 50% of the total budget to M/WBEs. Interested companies can email to receive updates on solicitations.

Community organizations, faith-based organizations and other non-partisan community organizations will have the opportunity to receive funding to support civic education efforts through November 2022. Application details will be available soon and interested organizations can s sign up to receive online updates.

New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the RJC website to learn more about each proposal and see how each of the questions will appear on the back of New Yorkers’ ballots, as well as find more details about the legislative changes that would take effect if the proposals were passed.

The RJC was formed on March 23, 2021, with the legal authority of a Charter Review Commission. The RJC identifies and proposes transformative structural changes, as well as significant policy reforms to advance racial justice and equity and begin to dismantle structural racism for all New Yorkers.

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