The Unite NY Strategy

Growing a Member Organization

Unite NY will work to recruit New York voters from all over the state to join together to improve our democracy by empowering more voices and enabling more choices. This organization was launched in the wake of the most toxic and antagonistic political environment of our lifetime. Following decades long drift away from bipartisanship as a path to common sense results, the last several years have ushered in an era of violent protest and vitriolic rhetoric. 

Unite NY believes that if we are to ever expect to fix an utterly broken State and system, we need to seek common sense solutions, work across party lines, and support leaders that look to solve problems rather than settle scores. Joining Unite NY will allow members to link up with others around the state to learn about better and more democratic paths and advocate for issues that matter. Learn more about becoming a member here

Research, Partnership and Education

In 2022, Unite NY launched the Voter Empowerment Index (VEI) to provide independent polling to track voter sentiment on various reforms. Extremes in both Parties are pulling candidates further away from the moderate place where most voters reside. Recent polling shows that a vast majority of New York voters believe the Parties are too extreme and have left voters behind. We’ve seen this at the national level and unfortunately now at the State level.

In 2023 and beyond, Unite NY will work with a variety of New York-based and national partners to gauge voter sentiment on a variety of issues of major government and political reform in New York. Our team will arm our membership and supporters with that data, while working to share that data with decision-makers and the media to show that New Yorkers want more voices and more choices to enable better results. 

Learn more about the VEI here.

Advocacy

While in the past, Unite NY has provided support to candidates during the election cycle, in 2023, our focus will shift to advocating for real legislative change in Albany and around the State.

Recent Polling by Unite NY (and confirmed by other independent polling outlets) shows that fewer than 40% of New Yorkers think the state is on the right track. At the same time, the 2022 election saw dreadfully low turnout, especially in the primaries. Our hypothesis is that if democracy is good, more democracy would be better. Unite NY believes that getting more candidates on the ballot, more voters participating in the process, and more opportunities for voices to be heard would yield better results.

Consider:

  • Fewer than 5% of enrolled GOP voters chose Lee Zeldin as their candidate of choice in June. About 9% of enrolled Democrats chose Kathy Hochul as their candidate of choice.
  • Voters have said time and again that their votes and voices don’t matter.
  • 2022’s Gubernatorial race was only the 2nd one in NYS history where there were only two choices on the ballot.
  • Turnout in NYC actually went down – by more than 400,000 votes from 2018.  Turnout was a mere 38% in New York City, where nearly ⅔ of the voters in a Democratic-heavy locale with a large population of people of color chose not to participate.
  • Turnout among independent voters was also low, with only 37% of those not enrolled in a party voting. This represents more than two million New Yorkers choosing not to vote. The margin for victory in the election was 330,000.

To drive change in the system, restore faith in our voters, increase turnout and get better outcomes, Unite NY will advocate for More Voices, More Choices in 2023:

More candidates

Term Limits

Initiative and Referendum

Ranked Choice Voting 

Open Primaries

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