On Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at Union Square, DemocracyNYC hosted “Countdown to Vote,” a free community event open to the public to promote the Primary Election and Ranked Choice Voting.
The event featured performances by local artists as well as The People’s Bus—a retired NYC Department of Correction vehicle that has been transformed into a community-led, intergenerational mobile civic engagement center.
The People’s Bus, designed by Yazmany Arboleda, a Colombian-American artist who creates living sculptures, was parked on the plaza at Union Square for the event, and gave opportunities to New Yorkers of all ages to learn about voting and to provide feedback for the development of the bus.
Performances at the event included local performers: rapper Kosha Dillz and Friends, Tony Glausi’s jazz trio, Broadway dancers Annelise (of “Jagged Little Pill”) and Kyle (of “Beauty and the Beast”), the Street Beat Brass Drum Line, stilt performer Brianna, NYC-based all-women Brazilian Samba Reggae drum line Fogo Azul, and Harlem-based youth poet Fanta Ratty.
A large-scale illumination was executed by The Illuminator, a NYC-based artist-activist collective, and featured Ranked Choice Voting-focused artwork by diverse NYC-based artists including Ruben Dario Ramirez, Bernardo Rodriguez, Suzanne Ruzzo, and others.
As of 2021, NYC is using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in primary and special elections for NYC offices. Ranked Choice Voting is a new system of voting in which you can rank up to five candidates in order of preference.
Production partners for this event include Enfluence, Kaleidoscope, and F.Y. Eye.