***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
January 13, 2009
Statement from Council Members Bill de Blasio and Letitia James Regarding Today’s Decision in the Term Limits Case
City Hall - Today, Council Member Bill de Blasio and Council Member Letitia James released the following statements regarding Judge Charles P. Sifton's decision to deny the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.
Council Member de Blasio said: “This is a sad day for democracy in New York City, but this fight is not over because the voters have still not been heard; we must and will defend democracy. I would like to thank the large and diverse coalition of plaintiffs who joined me in standing up for New Yorkers, as well as co-counsel who ably argued this case. The action taken by the Mayor and the City Council to extend their own term limits via legislation was wrong, and the voters deserve their say on this matter. We are reviewing the court's decision and will make a determination regarding our next steps in the very near future. We never expected that the first judge to hear this issue would be the last.”
Council Member James said: “This is not the end, but the beginning of a campaign to realize term limits at the ballot box in November. We stand firmly in our belief that the voters should decide the question of term limits, as they have twice expressed their opinion on this issue. As elected officials charged with representing the voters of New York City, we will not let the public be cut out of this process - we will review our legal options and come to a decision shortly. No one is above the law, even billionaires; democracy should not be tailored to meet the needs of any one individual.”
A diverse coalition of local elected officials, candidates, good-government groups, and voters filed the lawsuit in November to challenge the term limits extension that was passed by the City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg this fall. The plaintiffs were seeking to invalidate the law, and further seeking the court's declaration that a fundamental change in the City's term-limits law, such as the extension enacted by the Council and the Mayor, requires a public referendum.
Contact: Gwen Rocco - (212) 788-6969 / (410) 440-5808, and Amyre Loomis - (718) 260-9191 / (646) 201-8183