Who Can I Blame for This?

Do you ever wonder who you can direct your ire towards when the train shuts down and you’re left stranded somewhere in the middle of Queens?  Or when an apartment search turns fruitless because the rent is too damn high? Well here is a handy guide outlining all the elected positions (and some appointed) in New York so you’ll know exactly who to address those angry tweets towards. Hopefully one day this will also help you decide what to run for so you too can become a person who is blamed for things.

ELECTED POSITIONS

 

County Committee

The Democratic Party is governed by committees of citizens who are registered Democrats, from the national level down to state and community-level. County is the most local level of party governance in New York.

What is the County Committee supposed to do?

  • Choose local judicial candidates
  • Choose the Democratic Party’s nominee in special elections
    • This one is particularly important, since 1 in 3 current New York state legislators was chosen in a special election!
  • Help create the Democratic party platform
  • Organize local neighborhoods
  • And more!

 

How does County Committee get elected?

  • Every two years, Democrats in each assembly district elects two district leaders: one male, one female: The district leaders and chair make up the executive committee of the county committee.
    • There are 21 assembly districts in Brooklyn, so when all seats are filled, the executive committee has 42 members.
    • There are 12 assembly districts in Manhattan, so executive committee has 24 members
    • There are 11 assembly districts in the Bronx, so executive committee has 22 members
      There are 18 assembly districts in Queens, so executive committee has 36 members
      There are 4 assembly districts in SI, so executive committee has 8 members
  • Each election district (or ED) is made up of a small number of city blocks. Each ED has 2 to 4 seats in the general membership of the county committee; so when all the seats are filled, there are approximately 3000 members.
  • County Committee members serve unpaid two-year terms without limits
  • They must reside in the assembly district in which they are elected. However, they can be elected to either their own ED, or neighboring EDs.
  • You’ll need between 25 and 40 signatures from registered Democrats, depending on the size of the Election District in which you’re running.

 

District Leader

  • District Leaders are unpaid, volunteer, party officials that are elected by voters from within the Assembly District in the Democratic Primary. There are two District Leaders for each Assembly District or part thereof: one female and one male.
  • District Leaders identify and champion the community’s needs before elected officials and government agencies.They work with community organizations like block associations and other neighborhood-based civic groups on local issues.
  • District Leaders have no legislative authority or budget, they are often successful in advocating for both legislation and funding related to community needs by working closely with neighborhood elected officials.
  • Each term of office is two years and there are no term limits. Elections are held in odd-numbered years.
  • Each District Leader is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York County Democratic Committee and is expected to attend those meetings and to serve on subcommittees of that body, fashioning party policies. They serve as their community’s advocates, voting on policy matters and the endorsement of candidates.
  • District Leaders have the responsibility for staffing poll sites within the district they represent for both the primary and general elections. They also identify and encourage candidates for other party positions, such as county committee.

 

Judicial Delegate

  • Judicial delegates attend a convention where they elect individuals to the New York State Supreme Court. There are approximately six judicial delegates per assembly district.
  • Two-year term; elected at same time as other political positions.
  • Unpaid position.
  • Requirements: Judicial delegates must reside in the assembly district in which they are elected.

 

State Committee

  • State committee members attend and participate in their party’s state conventions. They also fully endorse candidates picked by their parties at the state convention. They also act as a liaison between the community and elected officials.
  • Two-year term without term limits.
  • Unpaid position.
  • Requirements: State Committee members must reside in the assembly district in which they are elected.

 

City Council Member

  • City Council is comprised of 51 members, and they are NYC’s legislative body; their main duties are to adopt local laws, amend the NYC Charter, enact local laws, approve the budget, and oversee city agencies. They also have the power to override mayoral vetoes.
  • Term limited to two 4-year terms.
  • Base Salary: $148,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 years old and a resident of their City Council district on Election Day.

 

District Attorney (one per borough)

  • A District Attorney (DA) represents the state government in the prosecution of criminal offenses, and is the chief law enforcement officer and legal officer of that state’s jurisdiction.
  • The district attorney supervises a staff of prosecutors, Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs), who represent the State and prosecute criminals on behalf of the District Attorney.
  • Every four years, D.A.’s are elected by constituents of the borough in November (primary’s happening in September)
  • In case of a vacancy, the governor can still make an interim appointment until a special election is held for the remainder of the term.

 

Borough President (one per borough)

  • A borough president is an elective office in each of the five boroughs of New York City.
  • Borough presidents generally serve as ceremonial leaders who advocate for their boroughs on key issues.Borough presidents advise the Mayor, comment on land-use items in their borough, advocate borough needs in the annual municipal budget process, appoint community boards, chair the borough boards, and serve as ex officio members of various boards and committees.
  • They generally act as advocates for their boroughs at the mayoral agencies, the city council, the New York State government, public corporations, and private businesses.

 

Public Advocate

  • The job of the Public Advocate is, most fundamentally, that of a watchdog, ensuring that all New Yorkers receive the City services they deserve and have a voice in shaping the policies of their government.
  • As an ex-officio member of all Council committees with the power to introduce legislation, the Public Advocate is an important participant in the legislative process. Through the office’s powers of appointment, the Public Advocate also influences City planning, the budget process, and the management of retirement funds.
  • Term limited to two 4-year terms
  • Base Salary: $165,000

 

Mayor

  • The mayor acts as the executive branch of NYC; (s)he appoints people to head agencies/departments, appointments 7/13 members of the City Planning Commission, and signs bills into law. The mayor also prepares city budgets and revenue estimates.
  • Term limited to two 4-year terms.
  • Base Salary: $225,000.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 years old and a reside on NYC on Election Day.

 

State Assembly Member

  • The Assembly is comprised of 150 members who act as lower body of the New York State Legislature. Assembly members have the ability to pass laws, reapportion districts after the census, and act as the main legislative power of the state.
  • Two-year terms without term limits.
  • Salary: $79,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 years old, a resident of New York State for five years, and a resident of the assembly district for the 12 months immediately preceding the election.

 

State Senator

  • New York State has 63 Senators who act as the upper house of the New York State Legislature. They confirm the Governor’s appointments to non-elected state officials and court judges, pass laws, and act as a check upon the executive and judiciary powers of New York State.
  • Two-year terms without term limits.
  • Salary: $79,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 years old, a resident of New York State for five years, and residents of the senate district for the 12 months immediately preceding the election.

 

Attorney General

  • The Attorney General acts as the State’s chief legal officer. (S)he is responsible for the prosecution of all actions against New York State. (S)he has control of the legal affairs of state officers and departments and serves as the head of the Department of Law.
  • Four-year terms without term limits.
  • Salary: $151,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a New York resident for five years.

 

NYC Comptroller

  • The NYC Comptroller is the chief fiscal officer and chief auditing officer for the city. (S)he acts as the economic director of the city, advising fiscal policies and financial transactions, and issues/sells city bonds.
  • Three 4-year terms.
  • Salary: $151,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 18 years old and a resident of NYC on Election Day.

 

NYS Comptroller

  • The NYS Comptroller is the chief fiscal officer for New York State and serves as the administrative head of the Department of Audit and Control Requirements. This position audits government operations, including the state’s retirement system.
  • Four-year terms without term limits.
  • Base Salary:$151,500.
  • Requirements: Must be 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a New York resident for five years.

 

Governor

  • The Governor is New York State’s chief executive and serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the state’s military and naval forces. The Constitution requires this elected to submit an annual State Budget to the Legislature during which (s)he can make recommendations for legislation and can propose funding appropriations for departments/programs. The Governor is also able to veto legislative bills, convene the Legislature for special sessions, appoint non-elected state officers, and grant reprieves, commutations and pardons.
  • Four-year terms without term limits.
  • Salary: $179,000.
  • Requirements: Must be 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a New York resident for five years.

 

APPOINTED POSITIONS

 

Community Board Member

  • Community boards are local representative bodies. There are 59 community boards throughout the City, and each one consists of up to 50 unsalaried members, half of whom are nominated by their district’s City Council members. Board members are selected and appointed by the Borough Presidents from among active, involved people of each community and must reside, work, or have some other significant interest in the community.
  • Deal with land use and zoning issues. CBs have an important advisory role and must be consulted on the placement of most municipal facilities in the community. Applications for a change in or variance from the zoning resolution must come before the board for review, and the board’s position is considered in the final determination.
  • Assessing the needs of their own neighborhoods. CBs assess the needs of their community members and meet with City agencies to make recommendations in the City’s budget process.
  • Addressing other community concerns. Any issue that affects part or all of a community, from a traffic problem to deteriorating housing, is a proper concern of community boards.
  • CB’s are divided into committees, non-board members may apply to join or work on board committees, which helps provide additional expertise and manpower.

 

NYPD Community Council Executive Board Member

  • NYPD Community Councils are comprised of volunteers who act as a conduit of information between police and community residents; work to raise awareness and ensure needs of community are being reported and addressed.
  • Nominated by NYPD Community Council members, election held during following meeting.
  • Four consecutive two-year terms.
  • Unpaid position.
  • Requirements: 18 years of age, residing in or operating a business in the community; no elected or appointed officials or full-time employees of NYPD are eligible to be a board member.

 

Party Club Eboard Member

  • Voting member of the club. Sometimes the only voting members are on the eboard, sometimes not. Sometimes the eboard is a powerful decision making body,  sometimes not. Every club and every eboard is different.
  • Terms vary.
  • Unpaid.
  • No requirements.

 

Party Club President

  • The president of a club is often the primary decision maker, and driving force behind a club,  but not always. Terms vary per club.
  • Terms vary.
  • Unpaid.
  • No requirement.