Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection, 1989-2001

Archives & Special Collections
College of Staten Island Library, CUNY
2800 Victory Blvd., 1L-216
Staten Island, NY 10314

2005 The College of Staten Island, CUNY

Finding Aid by Catherine N. Carson


Overview of the Collection

Collection No. :SIM-3
Title:Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection
Creator:Henry & Lila Majewski
Extent:1.3 Linear Feet
Abstract: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 1990's.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Department of the Library, College of Staten Island, CUNY, Staten Island, New York.


The collection was donated by Henry & Lila Majewski in 2003.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Catherine N. Carson and Cortney Riley.

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Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Notice

The researcher assumes full responsibility for compliance with laws of copyright. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections.

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Administrative History

Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. (hereafter Vote Yes) was formed as a non-partisan, 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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Scope & Content Note

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.

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The Staten Island: Vote Yes, Inc. Collection is divided into 5 series and two subseries:

-Staten Island Vote Yes, Inc.
-Other Organizations

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms. Manuscipt collections are not included in the College of Staten Island's library catalog at this time.

Subject Topics

Richmond County (N.Y.) -- City Planning
Richmond County (N.Y.) -- Politics and Government
Secession -- Staten Island (New York, N.Y.)

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Series Descriptions & Container Listing

Series 1: Administrative Material, 1990-1993. 5 Folders.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series contains records documenting the membership, meetings and financial activity of the organization. There is a membership roster, a balance sheet, and a membership application form from 1990. There are several meeting announcements for 1990-1993. There is one report on promotional efforts from 1990. There is one set of meeting minutes from August 12, 1993, when the organization voted to support secession.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 Vote Yes - Balance Sheet, April 25, 1990
1 2 Vote Yes - Membership Application, c. 1990
1 3 Vote Yes - Meeting Announcements, 1990, 1991, 1993
1 4 Vote Yes - Members List, May 14, 1990
1 5 Vote Yes - Meeting Minutes and Reports, 1990, 1993
Series 2: Media & Promotional Material, 1990-1994, n.d. 10 Folders.
     Series 2 - Subseries A: Staten Island Vote Yes, Inc., 1990-1993, n.d. 7 Folders.
    Arranged alphabetically.
     Box# Folder# Title
     1 6 Vote Yes - Ads, 1993
     1 7 Vote Yes - Bumper Stickers, n.d.
     1 8 Vote Yes - Invitations, 1993
     1 9 Vote Yes - Leaflets and Mailings, 1990, 1993
     1 10 Vote Yes - Posters, 1993
     1 11 Vote Yes - Secession Songs, n.d.
     1 12 Vote Yes - Wooden Nickels & Pins, n.d.
     Series 2 - Subseries B: Other Organizations, 1990-1994. 3 Folders.
    Arranged alphabetically.
    This subseries contains articles and promotional materials on secession distributed by Staten Island legislators and other organizations.
     Box# Folder# Title
     1 13 Newsletters, Articles & Mailings - Other Organizations, 1990-1993
     1 15 Secession & Voting Pamphlets - Other Organizations, 1993
     1 14 Post-Vote Comments - Marchi & Straniere, 1993-1994
Series 3: Reports, 1993. 1 Folder.
This series contains "Staten Island Secession: The Impact on Public Education," a report issued by the Mayor's Task Force on Staten Island Secession in September 1993.
Box# Folder# Title
1 16 "Staten Island Secession: The Impact on Public Education," September 1993
Series 4: Photographs, 1990. 1 Folder.
This series contains photographs and negatives from a May 23, 1990 meeting. The photographs are dated, but the persons are not identified.
Box# Folder# Title
1 17 Photographs, May 23, 1990
Series 5: Press Clippings, 3 Archives Boxes, 1989-2001. Approximately 1 Linear Foot.
Arranged chronologically.
This series contains press clippings related to the topic of Staten Island secession.
Box# Folder# Title
2 .5 The National Review - "A Free Market in Government," October 27, 1989
2 1 Newspaper Articles, December 1989
2 2 Newspaper Articles, January 1990
2 3 Newspaper Articles, February-March 1990
2 4 Newspaper Articles, April-May 1990
2 5 Newspaper Articles, June 1980
2 6 Newspaper Articles, July-August, 1990
2 7 Newspaper Articles, September 1990
2 8 Newspaper Articles, October 1990
2 9 Newspaper Articles, November 1990
2 10 Newspaper Articles, December 1990
2 11 Newspaper Articles, March And June 1991
2 12 Newspaper Articles, August-October 1991
2 13 Newspaper Articles, November 1991- January 1992
2 14 Newspaper Articles, February-March 1992
2 15 Newspaper Articles, April-May 1992
2 16 Newspaper Articles, June-July 1992
2 17 Newspaper Articles, August-September 1992
2 18 Newspaper Articles, October-November 1992
2 19 Newspaper Articles, December 1992- January 1993
2 20 Newspaper Articles, February-March 1993
3 1 Newspaper Articles, March-April 1993
3 2 Newspaper Articles, May 1993
3 3 Newspaper Articles, June-July 1993
3 4 Newspaper Articles, August 1993
3 5 Newspaper Articles, September 1993
3 6-8 Newspaper Articles, October 1993
3 9-10 Newspaper Articles, November 1993
3 11 Newspaper Articles, December 1993
3 12 Newspaper Articles, January 1994
3 13 Newspaper Articles, February 1994
3 14 Newspaper Articles, March 1994
3 15 Newspaper Articles, April-May 1993
3 16 Newspaper Articles, June-July 1994
3 17 Newspaper Articles, August-October 1994
3 18 Newspaper Articles, November-December 1994
3 19 Newspaper Articles, January 1995
3 20 Newspaper Articles, February-March 1995
3 21 Newspaper Articles, April-December 1995
3 22 Newspaper Articles, January-May 1996
4 1 Newspaper Articles, June-December 1996
4 2 Newspaper Articles, 1997-1999
4 3 Newspaper Articles, 2000-2001
4   Staten Island Advance - Section A, November 7, 1990
4   Staten Island Advance - Section A, November 3, 1993
4   New York Times Article, November 3, 1993
4   Staten Island Advance - Secession Sections, March 17, 1993-June 30, 1993
          - The Staten Island Advance is also available on microfilm in the Library's microfilm room.

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