Civic Engagement


Helen speaks to students at La Guardia High School on Student Voter Registration Day (March 18, 2016).

Involving our community in the democratic process through questions of funding allocation is an important way to ensure effective governance and constituent input. Helen works to keep the Upper West Side engaged in policies that affect our community by encouraging young people to vote and allowing constituents to suggest Participatory Budgeting projects. And, there’s always more we can do. Helen is already building on her successes from her first term. She plans to continue Student Voter Registration Day for the 2018 midterm elections to help get younger generations involved in politics. She also hopes to expand involvement in Participatory Budgeting through greater publicity to help constituents create more impactful community projects. Learn more below!

Helen is taking the lead, here are some legislative highlights (details below):

  • Helen sets aside $1 million of her district budget for constituents to suggest and vote upon infrastructure-related improvement projects.
  • Helen championed Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD) which advocated for civic engagement and registered 8,500 students to vote in the 2016 presidential primary.

Helen’s goals for the next four years:

  • Hold another Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD) for the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Further publicize the Participatory Budgeting process such that more community members can suggest and vote upon project ideas.

 Helen Values Community Input in Participatory Budgeting

Helen has set aside $1 million every year for infrastructure-related projects devised by and voted upon by residents in a process called Participatory Budgeting. In the 2014­-15 Participatory Budgeting season, residents suggested hundreds of ideas and over 2,000 Upper West Siders voted on the final ballot.

Helen Supports the Voices of Young People

Young voters between the ages of 18 and 30 have the lowest voter turnout rate in New York City: only 11% of this group voted in the 2013 mayoral election. Along with NYC Votes and the New York Immigration Coalition, Helen worked to create Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD), a day of civic engagement and voter registration in public schools. SVRD registered 8,500 students to vote in the 2016 presidential primary and brought civic engagement education to thousands more.

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