SIM-03: Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection
Scope and Contents
The main strength of the collection is its newspaper clippings collection. The collection includes an extensive collection of clippings related to the Staten Island secession movement covering the period from 1989-2001. As many of the local papers are not indexed by subject, the clipping collection is a necessary resource for the study of the Staten Island secession movement in the 1990's.
The collection is less useful as an organizational record of Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. The organizational record is clearly incomplete but includes some record of its mission, members, and activities. The collection also includes several examples of leaflets, mailings and promotional materials.
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1989 - 2001
Biographical / Historical
Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. (hereafter Vote Yes) was formed as a nonpartisan, grass-roots organization in January 1990. Its initial purpose was to secure a "yes" vote for the November 1990 referendum on Staten Island secession, "Shall a Charter Commission to provide for the separation of the borough of Staten Island from the City of New York and for the establishment of the City of Staten Island be created?"
The November 1990 referendum provided for the creation of a Charter Commission that would fully research and examine the implications of secession. Vote Yes did not advocate secession for Staten Island without a thorough study of its implications. The organization's mission was to become involved in activities promoting the creation of a Charter Commission through a "Yes" vote on the referendum, including fundraising, advertising and providing information to voters.
The November 1990 referendum on secession was successful. Afterward, Vote Yes revised its charter in order to remain in operation pending the outcome of the study. During the study, Vote Yes did not take a formal position on secession. The issue was revisited after the completion of the Charter Commission's work and in anticipation of the November 1993 referendum on secession. On August 13, 1993, the Vote Yes membership voted to change its charter "to provide that our corporate purpose is to secure a yes vote in favor of secession in the referendum this November and also to continue to work to establish a City of Staten Island if the referendum is successful."
The November 1993 referendum on secession received 65% of the vote. While it is clear that Vote Yes planned to stay involved in the process to create a City of Staten Island, there is no organizational record of their activities after 1993 in the collection.
Although a measure to create the City of Staten Island passed the New York State Senate, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to permit a vote until he received a home rule message from the city. As the city would not issue a home rule message, further movement on secession was effectively blocked in 1996, although debate on the issue continued afterwards.
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Language of Materials
Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. was formed in January 1990. Its initial purpose was to secure a "yes" vote for the November 1990 referendum that allowed for the creation of a Charter Commission to study secession. After the referendum's successful passage, Vote Yes changed its charter in order to remain involved in the issue during the Charter Commission's study of secession. In August, 1993, Vote Yes endorsed secession for Staten Island and promoted a "Yes" vote for the November 1993 referendum on secession from New York City. The organizational records contained in the collection are incomplete, but effectively document the mission of the organization. The collection also contains an extensive clippings file on issues related to the secession movement on Staten Island during the 1990s.
The Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection is divided into 5 series and two subseries: ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIAL MEDIA AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL -Staten Island Vote Yes, Inc. -Other Organizations REPORTS PHOTOGRAPHS PRESS CLIPPINGS
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Henry and Lila Majewski in 2003.
Collection processed by Catherine N. Carson and Cortney Riley.
- Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection
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