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Term Limits: Unintended Consequences?

As city voters prepare to vote on nonpartisan elections, we looked back at the legacy of the last major change in the mechanics of city politics: term limits. In 1993, New Yorkers voted to limit city office holders to no more than two terms in office. Term limits began to reshape the political scene dramatically in 2001, when 37 out of 51 City Council members were prevented from running again.

Have term limits been a success? Have there been unintended consequence that even the proponents of term limits didn't foresee? Steve Malanga thinks so, as he explains in this editorial commentary.

Malanga is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. This essay is adapted from Malanga's article "Council Cutups" published in the Summer 2003 issue of City Journal, and a longer piece, "The Council's Confederacy of Dunces," from the magazine's Spring 2003 issue.



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