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March Held To Deliver New York City Racial Justice Commission's Ballot Proposals To City Clerk's Office

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City Racial Justice Commission has approved new ballot proposals for the 2022 general election.

On Monday, the commission voted unanimously to put three proposals on next year's ballot.

And on Tuesday, members of the commission marched from Foley Square to the Office of the City Clerk with posters and paperwork in hand, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

Inside, they filed the ballot proposals aimed at ending structural racism.

"Today is a historic day in New York City. We are showing where New York City is heading," the commission's Yesenia Mata said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio created the commission in March following a year of racial unrest across the country.

The 11 commissioners were tasked with examining the city's charter and to rid it of inequity.

"It was interesting. In the hundreds years of the existence of the city, no one thought to start this important document with a guidance," Commissioner K. Bain said.

The three proposals include adding a statement of values to guide government, establishing a Racial Equity Office, and creating a tool to measure the true cost of living in New York City.

"Racism pervades every pillar of our society. It's not just in policing that we encounter racism. It's not just in the justice system. It's in everything," the commission's Jennifer Jones Austin said.

Advocates say what makes this change different from previous reforms is that these policies address racism at its most fundamental level.

"You really have to look at the laws. Policies are important. Programs are important. But if you don't look at the root, the reason why you have to have those policies and programs in the first place, then we are just going to keep on doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results," Austin said.

Voters will decide whether to turn the three proposals into law next November.

A simple majority is needed for them to pass.

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