People’s Convention to Reform New York Town Hall Meeting
April 21, 2010
Hudson, NY – Is Albany working for you? That was the question Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) asked to open a Town Hall meeting he convened this evening at the Hudson Elks Club, 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 Marc Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook). 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 their state government back – it begins by convening a ‘People’s Convention,’ which is the first step toward restoring accountability,” said Kolb, who noted that over 2,000 people already have gone to www.reformny.org and signed the on-line petition in support of a People’s Convention. “Hudson Valley families want real reform in Albany, especially given this year’s late state budget,” said Molinaro. “Genuine ideas to improve our state government like a ‘People’s Convention to Reform New York’ resonate with the constituents in my district. Citizens are demanding results and I am very glad Leader Kolb traveled to Hudson to report on this positive, effective way to make government work for the people again.” Kolb and Molinaro also will hold a People’s Convention Town Hall on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the East Fishkill Senior Center, 888 Route 82, in East Fishkill. Molinaro represents the 103rd Assembly District, which contains Columbia and Dutchess 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 www.reformny.org, and follow Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb on Twitter and Facebook.