At last night’s meeting, the City Council decided to allow non-citizens to register and vote in future City elections, as of 2019.
Thank you, everyone, who came to last night’s meeting. I also want to thank those who wrote to us about the proposed change.
The Council earlier voted against two other amendments – to hold a referendum and to extend voting rights to green card holders as a compromise measure. Both ended in tie votes. Kabir, Day, Cook and Kujawa voted in support and Nagle, Monroe, Brennan, and Stullich voted against. Mayor broke the tie and voted against both measures.
The Council then voted on the original motion on 17-CR-02. The vote was 4-3-1. Nagle, Monroe, Brennan, and Stullich voted in support and Day, Cook and Kujawa voted against. Kabir abstained.
On the Carter amendment itself, I was on the fence. I saw some opportunities and also some risks in the change, which I explained in my closing comments. I very strongly advocated putting the question of the non-residents voting to an advisory referendum. I was hoping the residents’ mandate on the referendum on this subject would have given me a chance to vote on this item one way or another (assuming I’ll still be in the office). Unfortunately, the residents were denied that referendum opportunity last night. In the absence of that clear mandate, I felt it wasn’t the right thing for me to take a position on the proposal.
As it was evident at last night’s meeting, the community is now deeply divided. So is the Council. We do have a lot of work in making our neighbors coming together.