On The Record
- New York Times, February 6, 2001
The introduction of a bill in the City Council to rescind the city's term limits law for members of the Council has created a firestorm of reaction from a wide spectrum within New York City's political landscape, with many officials and politicians outside of the Council denouncing the legislation.
"They are trying to silence the democratic voice of the people," said Charles Barron, a leadership training consultant who is running for the Council from a district in East New York, Brooklyn.
"When you use a legislative initiative to overturn the will of the people that was expressed in an election, you are attacking democracy. Here is Florida visiting New York. Our votes, once again, don't count."
Mr. Barron has organized a group of a dozen other City Council candidates, along with civic groups and religious organizations, to attend public hearings on the bill and to stage various protests, he said.
"My view is that, this last ditch attempt to overturn term limits demonstrates why term limits were necessary in the first place," said Eric Gioia, a lawyer who is running for the Council seat in Queens currently held by Walter L. McCaffrey, one of the bill's sponsors.
"The people have spoken twice on this and it is the height of arrogance to try to overturn the will of the people," Mr. Gioia said. "Government should not be the last refuge for those who can't find work in the private sector."