Black represention in Cincinnati under proportional voting

A reader asks, “When was first African-American candidate elected? Was representation continuous from then, until repeal? When was the first time there were two?” The answers are 1931, no, and November 1949.

Some context: Cincinnati used the single transferable vote in 31 elections, from 1925 to 1955. This was in tandem with an otherwise standard council-manager charter: nonpartisan elections, nine-seat assembly, responsible executive, and so forth.

Here is a list of Black candidates who ran, their parties, and whether they won. The list is based on having researched the identities of every declared candidate. “Charter” means an endorsee of this group, which used to be a coalition of Progressive Republicans and the mainline Democratic Party. A candidate’s name is underlined if they won a seat.

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Women in New York City’s ranked-choice City Council

New Yorkers elected their City Council under the single transferable vote (STV), 1937-45. Council voted in June 1945 to extend its own term from two to four years. The next STV election would have been in 1949, but the system was repealed by referendum in November 1947.

Cynthia Terrell asks, “Can you tell me what the highest number of women elected at the same time was under PR in NYC? And what year?” The answer is three, in 1941. Here is a list of all women who served.

November 1937
Genevieve Earle (Fusion, Minority Leader on death of Baruch Charney Vladeck)

November 1939
• Genevieve Earle (Fusion and Citizens’ Non-Partisan, Minority Leader)

November 1941
Rita Casey (Democratic)
• Genevieve Earle (Fusion and Citizens’ Non-Partisan, Minority Leader)
Gertrude Weil Klein (American Labor)

November 1943
• Genevieve Earle (Republican and Citizens’ Non-Partisan, Minority Leader)
• Gertrude Weil Klein (American Labor)

November 1945
• Genevieve Earle (Republican and Citizens’ Non-Partisan, Minority Leader)
Mae V. Gallis (Democratic, appointed to serve in place of James A. Phillips, pending special election in November 1947)*
Bertha Schwartz (Democratic)

Source for featured image: NYC Campaign Finance Board.

Getting it done

PR would take a bipartisan deal.

It is now clear that important thinkers have endorsed the idea of proportional representation. One even accepts the possibility of a multi-party chamber.

No doubt, some of this support is due to the fact that Democrats may need proportional voting. Their votes are now so geographically concentrated that, even with a popular vote exceeding Obama’s 2008 performance, they may not carry the House next week. The question is how you pass PR in a party-line world. Spoiler: you probably need Republican votes and therefore to mandate low nomination barriers.

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