Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday that he supports a controversial bill to allow hundreds of thousands of non-citizens living in New York City to participate in local elections.
Adams said in a statement that it has supported and will continue to support the measure despite initially having “some concerns.”
The City Council passed the “Our City, Our Vote” measure in December, despite the concerns of more than a dozen lawmakers, former Mayor Bill de Blasio and some constitutional experts.
The bill gave approximately 800,000 non-citizen legal residents, such as green card holders and deferred action beneficiaries, the right to vote in municipal races, but not in state or federal elections.
“I believe New Yorkers should have a voice in their government, which is why I have supported and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a statement Saturday.
“While I initially had some concerns about one aspect of the bill, I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government that eased those concerns. I believe that allowing legislation to be enacted is by far the best option and I hope to bring millions more into the democratic process, ”the Democrat continued.
The mayor did not specify the nature of his discussions or the concerns he raised.
Undocumented immigrants remain unable to cast their local vote under the new law, which gives legal non-Americans the right to vote for mayor, comptroller, public defender, district president, council member, or local ballot initiatives beginning in 2023 .