Is Albany Working For You?

August 24, 2010

Owego, 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 with his colleague Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I- Springport). Leader Kolb and Assemblyman Finch discussed their 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.

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 and Finch also discussed, and took numerous questions from attendees, their 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 2,380 people have already gone to and signed the on-line petition in support of a People’s Convention.

“New York State needs reform. The only way to obtain real reform and change lies with the ideas of the people,” Finch said. “The hardworking middle class is suffering and something needs to change. A People’s Convention would get the work of the people accomplished. New Yorkers are demanding solutions and new ideas; a People’s Convention is long overdue.”

The Assembly Minority Conference will hold additional Town Hall meetings in Westchester, Richmond, Orange and Montgomery 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.