Solution for Good Government: Protect funding for our neediest New Yorkers by banning quid pro quo donations from employees and members of the boards of not-for profits that receive member item funding.Submitted by kallos on Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:01pm
Member items are supposed to be a way for local elected officials to provide funding to the neediest of their constituents for essential services in their neighborhoods that would otherwise go unfunded. With the recent member item the scandal involving New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's staff and resignation of Council Member Miguel Martinez we've learned that these necessary funds have been misused. In fact, a recent Daily News article shows that member items have become a system of quid pro quo where local non-profits are extorted to provide political donations in exchange for funding. Not only is this bad government practice but it is unfair to the needier non -profits which don't serve constituencies capable of making the necessary political contributions. The New York City Campaign Finance Board currently limits contributions from people doing business with the City of New York. Unlike businesses this money supplements certain essential social services like feeding the elderly, clothing the homeless and providing school supplies to children. We must ban contributions from the boards of directors and employees of non-profits that receive member item funding and put an end to this despicable practice of quid pro quo.