You are reading

Op-Ed: I Want You to Have a Voice This Election Season

Voters cast their ballot at a polling site in Queens on Election Day Nov. 3, 2020. (Michael Appleton/ Mayoral Photography Office)

Feb. 10, 2021 Op-Ed By Brent O’Leary

Do you want to have a say as to who the next mayor is—or who your next city council member will be?

If so, I urge you to check your party registration and make sure you are registered as a Democrat. The deadline to do so is Feb. 14, and I want to make sure you are heard.

Unfortunately, our primary system cuts off the voices of millions of New Yorkers who are not affiliated with a major political party—particularly the Democratic party.

In a blue city like ours, our representatives are typically determined by the outcome of the Democratic Party primaries. Therefore, if you want to have influence on your future representative you should register as a Democrat.

I understand many New Yorkers choose to remain independent when they register to vote, feeling that the Democratic party doesn’t represent their views. I know the Democratic Party is far from perfect.

Photo: Brent O’Leary is a candidate running for the 26th district council seat (Photo: olearyforcouncil)

But by registering as a Democrat, you can help shape the party’s future and take it in a better direction.

While the majority of people are registered as Democrats in New York City, millions are not.

In fact, the second most common party affiliation across our New York City is “blank,” with over one million voters unregistered in a party.

In Queens’ 26th Council District, which I’m running to represent, more than one in five eligible voters are blanks, according to Board of Elections enrollment data. These people will have no power in selecting the candidates who will be in the general election.

In truth, unaffiliated voters aren’t the problem – our state’s closed primary system is what cuts millions out of the democratic process. I support moving to open primaries, but in the meantime, we have to do our best to make the 2021 elections as democratic and representative as possible.

Millions of New Yorkers will be disenfranchised unless they change their party registrations before the upcoming February 14th deadline.

I ask you to add your voice to the process and empower yourself and our community.

If you are not sure about your registration, I ask you check here. If you are not registered as a Democrat, I urge you to do so and register here.

Brent O’Leary is a candidate running in the 26th District Council race. The 26th district includes Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Queens father, son charged with possessing cache of loaded ghost gun assault weapons in Fresh Meadows home: DA

A Fresh Meadows father and son are criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of loaded ghost gun assault weapons that were found after a court-authorized search was executed at their home on Wednesday.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and his father, Jin-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late Wednesday night on a 130-count indictment charging them with 97 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other charges after the raid uncovered the assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.