Some BX Dems opposed to non-partisan referendum on the November ballot

Some Bronx Democratic leaders spoke out against having a non-partisan system. Having non-partisan elections citywide means the candidates would run on the issues and not align themselves with a political party.

City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) says the mayor's non-partisan referendum is a way to keep minorities out of office and dilute Democratic Party politics. Mayor Bloomberg says 80 percent of large U.S. cities have non-partisan elections and still have minorities in government. He says there is more minority representation in cities without partisan elections.

But Bronx Democratic leaders argue, saying that without political support and funding from parties no one could run for office. They say the only people who will be elected under a non-partisan system are those who can afford to run without backing.

If voters approve the non-partisan referendum on November 4, it would go into effect after the November 2004-05 general election.

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