Non-Citizens Voting

New York City has done something which some will consider wrong but which according to my  understanding of what’s good is a step in the right direction. It has given some 800,000 non citizens the right to vote in local elections. It only applies to green card holders and those holding work permits and the first election where it would apply is in January 2023. It goes without saying it is a debated law and some including experts say they do not know if  New York City’s city council has the right  to pass a law affecting  voting rights. Still, it remains that in a democracy people are to have a voice in their fate, and voting is how we do it. Non-citizens live in the community, and pay taxes, they are involved and it seems only fair they ought to have a voice in the affairs of their city. There’s also the issue of inclusiveness. To my understanding humanity has to learn to be increasingly inclusive as a means to reach unity millennia from now.  And this would be a small step. New York city is the largest city to pass such a law, towns in Vermont and Maryland already allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections and non-citizens can vote in school board elections in San Francisco. It’s worth noting that several other towns in Illinois, Maine and Massachusetts are planning to allow non-citizens to vote. Needless to say it is controversial and some states like Colorado and Arizona have already passed laws preventing non-citizens from voting. It will continue to be controversial and as it does it is bound to foster discussion—perhaps a discussion that will deepen our understanding of what inclusivity means. That I believe would be very helpful to better understand  how democracy works.