Good Government Groups Call on State Senators to make Good on Their Promises of Reform

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

July 15, 2009


Read this release in PDF.

Good Government Groups Call on State Senators to make Good on Their Promises of Reform

Deliver over 1,000 glue sticks from New Yorkers demanding that reconvened State Senate Stick With Reform

With the State Senate set to reconvene this afternoon, good government groups Citizens Union of the City of New York, Common Cause/NY, the League of Women Voters/N.Y.S. and NYPIRG urged senators to stick with their promises of enacting real reform. The groups pointed to statements made by various senators from both parties during the month-long stalemate declaring the crisis was fueled by the need for meaningful reform, not power politics. The good government groups urged the senators to stick with their promises for reform.

The groups noted that over 1,000 New Yorkers across the state signed up by email to send their senators glue sticks to physically emphasize the Stick With Reform message. The glue sticks are being delivered to the senators before the start of today’s session, along with the groups’ call to pass election, campaign finance, and ethics reform – all urgently-needed improvements which were deferred due to the leadership gridlock. The statement accompanying the glue sticks is attached.

“The month-long Senate stalemate brought New York State government’s dysfunction to the forefront of New Yorkers, as well as the nation’s, attention in an unprecedented manner – prompting them to urge Senators to end their partisan bickering and get to work on the important issues they were sent to Albany to address. Now that this impasse is behind us, it is imperative that the Senate prove to their constituents that their promises at the beginning of this struggle to reform Albany politics were not made in vain. Senators must demonstrate their commitment to reform upon reconvening by promptly enacting meaningful election, campaign finance and ethics reforms,” said DeNora Getachew, Director of Public Policy and Legislative Counsel of Citizens Union.

“When we asked our members over the past 2 weeks whether they wanted to send a message to their state senators to stick to their jobs and pass needed reforms, the response was strong and immediate. K.T., from Macedon said it best: ‘Compromise and pass needed reforms!!’,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/New York. “During the past month of previously unfathomable break-down in the State Senate, leaders of both parties emphasized over and over that they had thrown the body into chaos for the sake of reform. It is now incumbent on the Senate to make good on those oft-repeated promises of enacting reform. That means more than procedural rules reform, but must include ethics, campaign finance and election reform as well.”

Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters of New York State said, “” The time for rhetoric passed long ago. Any credibility on reform is now on the line. They must do meaningful rules reform today and move to the other major reforms in the next few months.” She continued, “The voters now are watching closely.”

“The member item allocation that will likely pass this week will be the first litmus test of whether the Senate has any intention of following through with their promises of a more egalitarian and representative legislative body,” pointed out Bill Mahoney of NYPIRG.

The groups also promised to work with the Senate to insure that any new rules governing senate procedure would contain the reforms promised by both parties.