Expand Voting Rights

Our City, Our Vote

Women Creating Change supports the Our City, Our Vote (OCOV) legislation to expand voting rights to more New Yorkers. 

The Need: Approximately 900,000 New Yorkers, living legally in the city, cannot vote in local elections because of their citizenship status. These individuals live, work, and pay taxes, but are not afforded the right to vote here.

Legislation: In January 2020, legislation to expand voting rights was introduced in the New York City Council by Councilmember Ydanis Rodríguez as bill number 1867 and currently has 28 co-sponsors. The legislation would change the City Charter and apply to local New York City elections, including races for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, City Council, referenda, and other local contests. In order to qualify, someone who is not a citizen must be a lawfully permanent resident or authorized to work in the US; a New York City resident for at least 30 days; and be otherwise qualified to register and vote under New York State election law. As part of the Our City, Our Vote Coalition, WCC is dedicated to expanding democracy to reach those who are currently excluded.

OCOV and WCC: Women Creating Change has made this a policy priority because:

  • This legislation, if enacted, will make democracy stronger, allowing people who are currently excluded from  the political process to vote;
  • It expands voting rights so that more people have a voice to better advocate for their needs, communities, and families;
  • The legislation is a natural extension of WCC’s early work to secure women’s suffrage.

WCC Involvement: WCC is thrilled to work with the OCOV campaign leaders, including the New York Immigration Coalition and United Neighborhood Houses, and many other partners to advocate for this policy. 

For more information, see the OCOV one-pager.