People’s Convention to Reform NY

April 16, 2010

Binghamton, NY – Is Albany working for you?

That was the question Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) asked when he spoke at a luncheon at the Binghamton Club for members of the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed support for a “People’s Convention to Reform New York,” and described how it could deliver the positive change that New Yorkers of all political parties – and regions – have been demanding. Kolb was joined and introduced by his colleague, Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R,I-Guilford), who serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.

The People’s Convention to Reform New York is a grassroots, non-partisan reform effort to empower citizens so they can take back their state government and, in the process, chart a positive, new direction for New York. Some of the issues that could be considered during a People’s Convention include fiscal reforms like a property tax and state spending cap, debt reform, along with a ban on “backdoor” borrowing and unfunded mandates. Governmental reforms such as initiative and referendum, an independent Legislative Redistricting Commission, term limits for Legislative Leaders, ethics reform and a succession plan for state offices also could be considered as part of a People’s Convention.

Kolb also discussed his non-partisan legislation, “The People’s Convention to Reform New York Act,” Assembly Bill A.9157. If enacted, the bill would put the question of whether New York should convene a “People’s Convention” on the 2010 ballot; by law, this question automatically goes before voters in 2017. The non-partisan measure would move up the opportunity for reform by seven years, accelerating the state’s ability to enact long overdue and much-needed changes. The legislation specifically requires that any elected official seeking to run as a delegate for, or serve in, the People’s Convention must first resign their office.

“There is a growing feeling among New Yorkers that their state government has stopped working for them – that it’s grown too costly, unresponsive and disconnected from the lives of those it was supposed to serve. It is time New Yorkers took back their state government – it begins by convening a ‘People’s Convention,’ which is the first step toward restoring accountability,” Kolb said.

“It is increasingly apparent that New Yorkers want real reform in Albany, especially given the late state budget,” said Crouch. “Genuine ideas to improve our state government like a ‘People’s Convention to Reform NY’ resonate with the constituents in my district and all across the state. Citizens are asking for ideas and results and I am very glad Leader Kolb traveled to Binghamton to report on the positive ideas being advanced by our Conference to make government work for the people again.”

Crouch represents the 107th Assembly District, which contains Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Ulster counties. Kolb’s 129th Assembly District is located in the Finger Lakes region and contains Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Ontario and Seneca counties. For further details on the People’s Convention to Reform New York, go to, and follow Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb on Twitter and Facebook.