🇺🇸 New York, New Voters
January 12, 2022

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! Perhaps Congress can work together after all: a group of senators and House lawmakers are launching a bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus in an effort to further promote a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The group will focus on advancing the normalization agreements former President Trump helped broker in 2020 between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Israel and Bahrain.

Plus, augmented reality game Pokémon GO enjoyed a resurgence during the pandemic, but this is ridiculous: two LA police officers were fired after ignoring a call for backup during an armed robbery because they were chasing a rare Pokémon in the mobile game. They had to catch ‘em all—just not the bad guys.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/11: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 40, Disapprove 59
D 1/11: MI Gov - Craig vs. Whitmer, Economist/YouGov Craig 39, Whitmer 49
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/10: Biden Job Approval, IBD/TIPP Approve 44,
Disapprove 45
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/10: Direction of Country, Rasmussen Reports Right Track 30,
Wrong Track 65

Trending On The Left


New York Times: Pence and Jan. 6 Committee Engage in High-Stakes Dance Over Testimony

Washington Post: The overwrought pushback on the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’

Huff PostVoters Challenge Madison Cawthorn's Reelection Bid On Constitutional Grounds

Mother Jones: It’s Now or Never for Congressional Democrats to Protect Voting Rights

Trending On The Right


DW3,000 United Airlines Workers Out Due To COVID-19, Leading To Flight Cancellations And Delays

Fox News: GOP reps release new Fauci emails they say point to COVID-19 lab leak 'cover up'

Breitbart: Biden ‘Confident’ His Team ‘On the Right Track’ as Hospitalizations Hit Record Levels

Wash Examiner: Paul and Fauci in fiery exchange about handling of dissent over pandemic restrictions

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VOTING RIGHTS

New York, New Voters

Last year, the NYC Council passed a law allowing green card holders, Dreamers, and people who immigrated illegally but are permanent residents to vote in local elections. The measure took effect over the weekend with the support of new Mayor Eric Adams.

From the Left: “More than 800,000 noncitizens and ‘Dreamers’ in New York City will have access to the ballot box — and could vote in municipal elections as early as next year … Unless a judge halts its implementation, New York City is the first major US city to grant widespread municipal voting rights to noncitizens.” (NBC News)

From the Right: "The mayor said that after he spoke with colleagues and listened to their points of view, he decided it was 'more important not to veto the bill or get in the way at all’ ... (Asked) whether this bill is 'making a mockery of American citizenship,' the mayor said that he still encourages people to continue the process to become citizens." (Fox News)

From the Flag: Here’s what both sides are saying about this controversial legislation.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

NYC Law Denigrates Citizenship And Harms Election Integrity


Commentary from the right sees this legislation as problematic given the potential to further expand voting rights based on this precedent. Some argue that although it seems legitimate to grant representation to all taxpayers, the move allows people to “jump the line” ahead of those pursuing citizenship. Finally, some claim this denigrates citizenship while violating existing law.

"Almost Anybody Can Now Vote in New York" Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: "New York’s constitution guarantees citizens the right to vote, 'provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age' and has been a resident for 30 days. The progressive argument is that this language doesn’t explicitly exclude noncitizens, so New York City can grant them the franchise. ... So could the city expand local elections to 12-year-old noncitizens? Ditto for the constitution’s 30-day residency rule. Could the city let noncitizens cross the Hudson River [to] declare residency, and vote the next day? As legal analysis, this isn’t what New York’s constitution means. ... Green-card holders pay taxes, yet so might second homeowners, international students, and illegal aliens. For voting, citizenship is a clear place to draw a bright line."

"Noncitizen voting doesn't pass this test" Howard Husock, The Hill op-ed: "The New York City Council’s recent decision to give some 800,000 noncitizens the right to vote might, on the surface, seem just and appropriate. After all, those legal city residents can be said to endure (high) taxation without representation. But this stark departure from historical precedent has a number of serious flaws for those who truly believe in ‘e pluribus unum’ — a nation whose voters share essential civic ideals. As a practical matter, the council action allows these new voters, such as illegal immigrants, to jump the line of those who have waited for years to prepare to become citizens."

"NYC mayor allowing non-citizens to vote is bad for the city, state, and US" Mike Pompeo, Fox News: "... not only do I think it’s inconsistent with our history and the law, I think that it denigrates those of us who are citizens." Keep reading.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Noncitizen Vote A Win For Some, But There’s Danger


Left-leaning commentary is mixed on this one. Some celebrate the legislation as a win that strengthens communities by giving more permanent residents a say in local affairs. Others worry this will harm more comprehensive immigration reform efforts long-term and help Republicans rile up their base ahead of coming elections.

"Why noncitizens should be allowed to vote" Raul A. Reyes, CNN: "Bravo to New York's City Council for taking a meaningful step towards inclusion and representation ... noncitizens who are legal permanent residents and have lived in the city for at least 30 days will be allowed to vote in elections for mayor, public advocate, city council, among other local offices. ... Allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections is smart policy that is legally sound. It will strengthen communities and give more residents an investment in politics that affect their daily lives. ... The legislation passed largely affects legal immigrants, such as green card holders, people with work permits, and young people who have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program."

“The Pro-Immigrant Case Against Noncitizen Voting” Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg: "There’s no question that the route immigrants must travel to obtain citizenship is too slow and too restrictive. Fixing this process requires the White House and Congress to work with Republicans on a bipartisan deal, which noncitizen voting will make even more difficult and unlikely. In fact, it will lend credence to the Republican argument that Democrats support immigration reform purely to pad their own voter rolls. This view is false, but pushing for noncitizen voting will only make it harder to refute, while also making the national conversation on the topic more toxic than it already is. Immigrants deserve to be heard and protected. But that will not happen with local attempts to supersede the broken federal system."

"How non-citizen voting could backfire on Democrats" Bradley Honan and Arick Wierson, New York Daily News op-ed: "... Giving noncitizens the opportunity to vote is certainly no panacea for Democrats for several reasons — and it may even be a strategic advantage for the Republicans." Keep reading.

FLAG THIS

So, How Does This Work Exactly?


The Pew Research Center says there are upwards of 25 million noncitizens living in the US. For New York City, the number of permanent residents who are noncitizens is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Come January 2023, this group will be allowed to participate in city elections for positions such as mayor, comptroller, public advocate, and city council. Yet, a state judge could still decide to strike down the measure.

Zooming out, New York City became the largest jurisdiction to enact such a law after San Francisco permitted noncitizens to vote in school board elections five years ago.

Flag Polls: Where do you stand on allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections? Join the discussion here.

US & WORLD

Do It Yourself Healthcare, Maya Angelou Quarter, National Blood Crisis

WSJ: Frustrated with an overburdened health system, more consumers are turning to gadgets, home kits, apps and monitors for tasks and tests previously handled by trained medical workers. They are monitoring their own blood pressure, conducting EKGs, tracking blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and pricking their own fingers for blood tests normally done at the doctor’s. This is all part of a do-it-yourself healthcare movement that has accelerated during the pandemic, doctors and industry analysts say.

CNN: A new US quarter featuring the late Maya Angelou went into circulation Monday, the US Mint announced, making the legendary poet and activist the first Black woman ever to appear on the coin.

CBS: The nation's blood supply is dangerously low, prompting the Red Cross to announce a national blood crisis for the first time. 

NBC: The United States reported 1.34 million Covid cases on Monday, with the daily case rate shattering global records as hospitalizations soared across the country.

NYT: More than half of people in Europe could be infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the next six to eight weeks, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday.

AP: The Justice Department is establishing a specialized unit focused on domestic terrorism.

CNBC: Over the past two years, median income fell 3% while the cost of living rose nearly 7%, due, in part, to rising housing and medical costs.

AP: A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people.

WATERCOOLER

Haiti Earthquake, Weighted Blankets, PhD Denied

Credit: Logan Abassi - CC BY 2.0
On January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake. It drew an outpouring of support from around the globe but the small nation has yet to fully recover. Above is a photograph of then heavily damaged Haitian National Palace (Presidential Palace), located in Port-au-Prince. The building was originally a two-level structure, but the entire second level completely collapsed. 

Popular Science: What the Science Actually Says About Weighted Blankets

Ars Technica: The most important computer you’ve never heard of

Outdoor Life: 10 Reasons People Get Lost in the Wild

Today I Learned in the mid 1890s, Mary Whiton Caulkins completed all requirements towards a Ph.D. in Psychology, but Harvard University refused to award her that degree because she was a woman.

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