Two Days Left to Register to Vote in the 2017 Primary, 2016 Presidential Election
Here's an important reminder that this Friday, October 14th, is not only the deadline to register to vote in next month's Presidential election – it's also the deadline for choosing party affiliation for next September's city primaries!
New York has a byzantine electoral system, highlighted by the fact that it has the earliest registration deadline of any of the 11 states with a closed primary (which means you can only vote in the primary of the party to which you're registered), as outlined in this recent article via DNAinfo.
Registration forms must be postmarked by Friday and received by the Board of Elections no later than October 19th. Change of address for the November general election must also be received by October 19th. You can also register in person at a Board of Elections office (be sure to bring a copy of the voter registration form with you), or, if you have a valid ID issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you can register online at dmv.ny.gov. The deadline to register via the DMV is also October 19th.
Of course, if you're already registered and happy with your party affiliation, you don't have to do anything. If you're unsure of your voter registration status, you can check it here.
Find all the information you need, and download a voter registration form, at the New York City Board of Elections' website.
Keep in mind that in Democratic-leaning New York City, key races are often decided in the primary. And in 2017, New Yorkers will be voting for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, the Borough Presidents and the entire City Council. Don't be left out in the cold – register today!
Ken Thompson, the Brooklyn District Attorney, died this past Sunday of an aggressive form of cancer. He had announced just a few days earlier that he was suffering from the disease, and would be taking a leave of absence for treatment. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the Brooklyn DA's office.
Last year, Transportation Alternatives sat down with Thompson to talk about his office, Vision Zero, and the prosecution of vehicular crimes. Thompson was taking steps to increase the role the DA's office played in making streets safer, characterized by his Driver Accountability Taskforce and efforts at using restorative justice to reform dangerous drivers. The article is well worth a read.
We believe the best way to honor Ken Thompson's legacy – whether he's succeeded by his deputy, Eric Gonzalez, Public Advocate Letitia James, as the New York Post suggested, or someone else – is for his successor to redouble efforts to hold dangerous drivers accountable for their actions.
Progress on the Bronx's Grand Concourse
Late last month, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joined the five other Council Members who represent the Bronx's Grand Concourse (Fernando Cabrera, Andrew Cohen, Vanessa Gibson, Rafael Salamanca and Ritchie Torres) in calling for better bike infrastructure along the major thoroughfare. The Speaker sent a letter to New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg asking the DOT to study protected bike lanes on the stretch of the Grand Concourse that lies in her district, between 138th and 158th Streets.
Thirteen people have died and more than 1,000 have been injured on the Grand Concourse in the past four years, according to city data, prompting Transportation Alternatives' Bronx Activist Committee to launch a campaign to "Complete the Concourse" with enhanced traffic-calming measures, protected bike lanes, curb extensions and dedicated bus lanes. You can add your name to their effort here.
Streetsblog's David Meyer broke the news of Mark-Viverito's support for the safety upgrades last week.
Last Week's StreetsPoll: Stop the Victim-Blaming!
In last week's StreetsPoll, we asked you what you considered the greatest sin committed by reporters covering pedestrian deaths. Perhaps unsurprisingly, two-thirds of you cited the persistent tendency to blame the victim.
While assigning agency to vehicles rather than drivers, treating preventable crashes as "accidental" acts of God, and failing to account for pedestrian-hostile street conditions all rankle, nothing is more troubling than blaming the person laying dead in the street for his or her own death. Data shows conclusively that drivers' actions are the principal cause of pedestrian (and cyclist) deaths, and all too often, initial reports fed by the accounts of drivers (and parroted by police and media) are proven wrong by video footage and other evidence.
Congratulations to Steve Malone, the randomly selected winner of a StreetsPAC t-shirt from among respondents to the StreetsPoll who signed up for our email updates.