February 10, 2007

Reforming state government

I published this over at The Albany Project, but it's a pretty tight explanation of how I'd like to see change, so it seems worth putting here too.

This week cast the machinations of the state legislature into sharp relief. Democrats and Republicans alike seem painfully aware that their state government isn't particularly interested in their opinions.

There's a lot of call for reform out there, and lots of people have agendas. I'd like to ask, though, that we keep the initial agenda extremely small and tightly focused, addressing just one key aspect of the 'reform' puzzle:

Making the legislature responsible to voters again.

There are lots of aspects to that, from leadership control to gerrymandering to lobbying to campaign finance. It's a complex issue by itself, but it's a lot of why people were enthusiastic about Spitzer, and it's at the heart of making government function again. It's also something that gives members of both parties work to do and conversations to have.

I know everyone has their own list of other reforms - closing tax loopholes, municipal consolidation, town and village courts, you name it. Unfortunately, none of those will help solve the basic problem of accountability, and may even be used as bargaining chips by those we're challenging to buy us off or splinter us.

Let's work for a state legislature that's accountable to the people of the State of New York, and then help that government figure out what it is that New Yorkers want.

Posted by simon at February 10, 2007 4:01 PM in
Note on photos