Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-I-C – Batavia) reacted with disapproval to the Governor’s announcement to eliminate the upstate-specific branch chair of Empire State Development.
“New York State is a large, wonderful state that is one state. However, the needs and concerns of the residents in New York City are very different from those in my community here in Western New York and other upstate areas. This position is currently bringing positive results for business and residents and helping us move toward revitalization in our Western New York area. This change is the wrong move for upstate,” said Hawley, who is calling on the Governor to reconsider, if not rescind, his new plan.
Despite his pledge to help revitalize upstate communities through economic development, Governor Paterson wants to consolidate the upstate and downstate chairs at Empire State Development (ESD), the state’s leading economic development agency with co-headquarters in Albany, Buffalo and New York City and 18 regional offices across the state. Entrusted with the state’s “I Love NY” campaign, ESD has taken the lead in developing the state’s tourism and economy on a global scale.
Assemblyman Hawley has received masses of letters and e-mails from Western New York residents and business leaders who share Hawley’s concern regarding the new Governor’s latest move. Included in this opposition is Unshackle Upstate, a bi-partisan coalition of over 65 business and trade organizations representing about 35,000 companies, which employ more than 1 million New Yorkers.