As Good Government Groups such as New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Common Cause/NY, the League of Women Voters, and Citizens Union continue to press for needed changes so that government can operate more fairly, openly and equitably, and function smoothly, state Assemblywoman Sandy Galef continues to reinforce her commitment to change. She is hosting these groups and former Lieutenant Governor Al Delbello in a roundtable discussion to take place on Thursday, June 3rd from 7-9pm at the Croton Village Hall, 1 Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson.
Topics to be discussed include many which these groups have prioritized as necessary to improve democracy in New York State: holding government officials accountable to higher ethical standards; making state government more transparent; fairly allocating resources throughout New York State; assuring accountability for tax dollars; making campaigns work for the people—not the special interests; and stopping legislators from drawing their own district lines.
“I have been working hard on many reform issues for some time, but without much support in Albany,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “With so many of our government leaders making the headlines for improper use of tax dollars, not to mention many other ethical issues, I feel that we are finally at a point where we may get some buy-in on these efforts. Recently, my work to rid member-items from a budget in this tough economy, as well as reforming the member item process for when times are better in the future, has garnered support from many who previously did not support these issues. I am hopeful that our crisis with the budget, the senate impasse last year, and the varying lawsuits and news stories will help push the envelope so that we can make some much needed changes in our state.”
Panelists in addition to Mr. Delbello, who also chairs the board of the business leadership group the Westchester County Association, include: NYPIRGS’s legislative director Blair Horner, the League of Women Voters of NY State’s legislative director Barbara Bartoletti, Common Cause/New York’s associate director Deanna Bitetti, and Citizens Union’s policy and research manager Rachael Fauss. Each group brings a distinct position to the table, but they have all come together to solicit legislators to sign their Pledge for Change New York, which the Assemblywoman signed at the end of March.
“I hope that many of my constituents will join this discussion to understand how they can be part of the process for change. We really must take advantage of this moment in time to press for improvements in our processes and our controls,” concluded Galef.