- Center for Community Media
- City Elections Initiative
City Elections Initiative
In November 2021, New Yorkers will go to the polls to elect a new mayor, five borough presidents, 51 city council members, a comptroller, a public advocate, district attorneys for Manhattan and Brooklyn, and more than 100 judges. And, for the first time, voters will be using ranked-choice voting.
The Center for Community Media has launched the 2021 City Elections Initiative to
- support community media in deepening and expanding their coverage of the elections, and
- connect their publishers with prospective advertisers in political campaigns, city government agencies, and voter education campaigns.
This initiative is aimed to support civic engagement through strengthening the trusted local news sources of immigrants and communities of color, and develop new sources of revenue and sustainability for this media sector. Read our report on this pilot initiative, Making Local Elections Count, published in October 2021 here.
About the City Elections Initiative
The initiative serves as an information and resource hub between New York City’s vibrant community media sector, political candidates and their campaigns, and the city government agencies and voter education organizations that need to reach all New Yorkers with their public information campaigns.
CCM’s 2021 City Elections Initiative:
- Connects community-based journalists with candidates in specialized press briefings and interactive town hall events;
- Offers training and resources to assist publishers in finding ways to deepen their coverage of local elections and inform voters in their communities;
- Informs political candidates, campaign staff, city agencies, and voter education organizations about the rich and varied community media ecosystem that serves the voters they want to reach.
Program Manager & Candidate Liaison
David Keisman, former publisher of The Bronx Times Reporter, Manhattan Times, and The Bronx Free Press, is managing the City Elections Initiative. He acts as liaison between publishers in community media and the candidates, city agencies, and voter outreach efforts that should know them.
New York City community media publishers, candidate campaign staff, and advertisers in city agencies and voter outreach and education programs can reach out to David to learn more about the initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guide describes what publishers should know including how to be prepared, marketing materials to have on hand, and the five target markets that will be spending advertising dollars.
Media outlets can use the database to identify candidates running in the neighborhoods most relevant to their audiences, as well as those running for borough and citywide level offices. It contains for each candidate, where available, website and social media links, campaign contact details, and financial information.
New York City Media Map
The City Elections Initiative has developed an original interactive map of New York City’s community media ecosystem, which can be sorted by community, geographic reach, language and city council district.
Political candidates, campaign staffers, and advertisers in city government and voter education organizations are welcome to explore the map to find the outlets serving the communities and voters they’d like to reach.
Visit Many Voices, One City, CCM’s directory of more than 300 New York City community media outlets.
CCM is creating a repository of media kits. If you are the publisher of a community media organization and want your media kit to be accessible to advertisers and campaign managers, please submit it using this form.
The initiative also includes a reporting fellowship for 30 community reporters working in New York City. The fellowship is aimed at expanding and deepening community media’s coverage of local and citywide elections so the journalists can inform New Yorkers who are often excluded and marginalized in local politics about how and where to vote.
The fellows were selected after a competitive application process. They write in nine languages and tell the stories of more than 15 communities – including African, Arab, Bangladeshi, Black, Caribbean, Chinese, Filipino, Haitian, Indian, Irish, Jewish, Korean, Latino, Nepalese, Pakistani and Russian – across the tri-state area and around the world. The group also includes journalists serving local geographic communities from Bushwick to Parkchester, and Brooklyn to Westchester. Read their bios here.
Browse this sortable database to see the wide-ranging articles they produced, from explaining ranked-choice voting to interviews with mayoral and council candidates, and reporting on issues pertaining to the fellows’ respective communities. Their stories included coverage on the roles of Muslims in Bronx politics, divided support for Andrew Yang among Chinese American seniors, Black women and the uphill battle to City Hall victories, pushing for political empowerment in the Mexican community, the first Nepalese-American council candidate, the influence of African and Caribbean immigrants on the elections, and much more.
Forums and Events
The New York City Elections Initiative will host a number of exclusive information sessions, training opportunities, and interactive candidate forums to connect community-based journalists.
To receive invitations to upcoming events, please sign up for our mailing list.
Stay in Touch
To receive regular updates about the 2021 City Elections Initiative, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter, where we’re sharing initiative news with #NYCElectionsInitiative.
The initiative is being funded by The Charles H. Revson Foundation.