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In this report, leading criminologists examine the connection between New York City's shift in policing strategies and the dramatic decrease in the City's incarcerated and correctional population.
This report focuses on oversight of the NYPD's intelligence operations. Although a number of substantive legal rules set the boundaries of these types of programs, history has shown that it is exceedingly difficult to ensure that intelligence agencies adhere to these limits. Intelligence gathering, by its very nature, is clandestine and details of operations often cannot be publicly revealed. And while law enforcement agencies should be proactive in their approach to crime and terrorism, broad powers to collect intelligence in pursuit of these goals can, and have historically, bled into abuse.
An effective new public matching funds system in which citizens direct the distribution of public funds to candidates would fundamentally change the way our campaigns are financed. The system would decrease the opportunities for corruption of federal officeholders and government decisions, and provide candidates with an alternative means for financing their elections without being obligated to special interest funders. Most importantly, the system would restore citizens to their rightful pre-eminent place in our democracy.
New York State is considering a system of public campaign financing for state elections similar to the one New York City uses for municipal elections. In that system, the city puts up six dollars in public matching funds for each of the first $175 that a city resident contributes to a candidate participating in the voluntary program.One of the key purposes of the city's matching fund program is to strengthen the connections between public officials and their constituents by bringing more small donors into the process and making them more important to the candidates' campaigns. A previous paper by the Campaign Finance Institute showed that matching funds heighten the number and role of small donors in city elections and would be likely to do the same at the state level.This joint study by the Brennan Center for Justice and the Campaign Finance Institute tests whether these powerful but anecdotal claims are supported by the available evidence from the most recent state and municipal elections. To do so, we compared donors to candidates in the City Council elections of 2009, where there was a public financing program, to the donors to candidates in the State Assembly elections of 2010, where there was no such program. We compared the City Council and State Assembly races because those electoral districts are similar in size and because doing so allowed us to look at the giving patterns of the same city residents in different elections.
In 2010, tens of thousands of votes in New York did not count due to overvotes -- the invalid selection of more than one candidate. This report demonstrates how the lack of adequate overvote protections disproportionately affected the state's poorest communities, suggests commonsense reforms, and examines national implications.
Without civic literacy we cannot maintain a vigorous democracy, but as multiple national studies and our findings in this report all demonstrate, few Americans have the requisite knowledge to engage in a democratic policy discussion.
The corruption scandals of the last few years have profoundly shaken the faith of New Yorkers in their state government. This report examines the system erected by New York's current ethics laws and makes clear recommendations for a way forward.
Outlines New York City's small donor multiple match public financing as a model for reform and its effect on the democratization of campaign fundraising, including the number and impact of small donors, voter outreach, competition, and candidate pools.
More than 108,000 New Yorkers cannot vote because of a conviction in their past. Almost half of these disenfranchised citizens have completed their prison sentence and are living and working in the community.
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