Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Required Reading for a New York Mindset

In most communities, there are some groups who are agitating --- more importantly, just by raising your voice. I'm always surprised when I hear legislators say they get 15 or 20 calls on an issue and that's a lot. It doesn't take that many citizens who are outspoken and in contact with their legislators to make a difference. I'd say: pay attention; be informed about what's going on. And if you don't like it, then give your elected representatives an earful. That's what they're there for.

The above is taken from an interview Krestia Degorge did with Gannett News Service's Albany bureau chief, Jay Gallagher. The interview ran in last weeks City paper and can be read following this link. Gallagher has just released a book, "The Politics of Decline", which examines the dysfunction of The Empire State and things that can be done to turn things around.

I've already ordered my copy.

There is a lack of focus on upstate from leaders and policy makers. AG Spitzer just announced a downstater as his running-mate in yet another snub to the interests of our area. The increasing chasm between the economy of a world-class metropolitan area and the milder and volatile rust belt characteristics of upstate becomes more and more difficult to negotiate every year. This regional problem transcends political party, because neither group seems incredibly willing to stand up and make the necessary changes to the financial barriers of this state. As long as downstate hums along, it doesn't faze any of the leaders in Albany that the cost of doing business in this state is astronomical and the tax rate is oppressive.

Are they aware that not all of us can commute to Manhattan to work?


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