Citizens of New York are suffering under the rule of a state government that does not represent them. In every political sense, the Upstate counties are dominated by the southern region that only represents the interest of New York City. The rest of the state has been forgotten and discarded.
The list of grievances against the current government in Albany is substantial. The liberal policies coming from Albany have driven New York into the ground. High taxes, under-performing schools while we spend more on education than any other state, the least friendly business environment, 2nd highest taxes (only behind New Jersey) and the absolute lowest ranking of any state in personal freedom.
New York is already in effect, two separate states. The upstate counties and downstate counties are very different in ideology. Downstate jealously defends a divergent and opposing ideology of the majority of the citizens of the upstate counties and do not defend the very principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness upon which this country was founded. The policies reflecting this opposing ideology are reflected in statutes and regulations on life, family, protecting our children in schools, protecting our lives and property, preserving the sanctity of our votes and ensuring the integrity of our elections, diminishing the value of our very citizenship and in a myriad of other ways which directly affect our daily lives, raising our children and the election of our representatives. The tyrant of New York has even dictated that those citizens of this state whose ideologies differ from his own have no place in this state.
Financially, New York is in trouble. A consistent hallmark of big, oppressive governments is fiscal mismanagement. New York is no exception. The state is more than $350 Billion in debt and counting. While not receiving nearly the same representation in the state government, the citizens of the upstate counties, and their children, will be saddled with paying off this debt.
For all this money spent, New York has the most corrupt government in the country. In the past decade, more than thirty NY officials have been led away in handcuffs, including the last Assembly Speaker. Still unconvinced? The last FIVE Senate majority leaders have faced charges of corruption.
As described by Politico “New York doesn’t so much have a culture of corruption as an entire festival.”
In both the Assembly and the Senate, the citizens of upstate are largely unrepresented. The ratio of legislators between upstate and downstate means New York City and surrounding counties can do what they want and the rest of us are along for the ride.
There is an opportunity to fix this. This November, New Yorkers get the opportunity to vote on whether to hold a Constitutional Convention. This chance only comes once every twenty years.
Some see this as THE chance to separate New York State into autonomous regions as a stepping stone to dividing the state. The problem with that, the opponents to the convention say, is that the same people who have presided over the state’s demise will also dominate the convention.
If the convention were to happen and IF the upstate counties had an equal say in its outcome, the following amendments and changes would go a very long way to fixing New York and getting the state out of the morass it is in now:
1. Term limits for all members of the state legislature, senate and governor, LT Governor and state judges.
2. Requirement for a balanced budget; the state budget will be presented annually by the governor to the state assembly no later than 1 March of every year.
3. A valid form of photo identification must be presented to vote. The integrity and validity of our vote is the cornerstone of our representative republic. It must be defended.
4. Respect for unborn life. The state will specifically be prohibited from using public funds to pay for any institution that supports abortion. Immediate repeal of the current law which allows abortion up to 24 weeks of life. State recognition that unborn babies are living humans and warrant Constitutional protection.
5. Support for the 2nd Amendment and immediate reciprocity for all other states’ Concealed and open Carry permits and licenses. No other Constitutional right as guaranteed by the United States’ Bill of Rights ends at the state line. The right of self-defense should not either. This would necessitate a full repeal of the unconstitutional NY SAFE Act.
6. Tax incentives for all business who hire in the state, existing or new business of any size. Incentivize job creation.
7. Waiver of any hunter safety course for combat veterans to obtain a hunting license; fishing licenses are free to all active duty or veteran service members; free admission to any and all state parks for combat veterans and their families.
8. Support for existing federal law prohibiting any and all combat related disability pay for veterans when determining income in divorce. Often combat disabled veterans only have their disability pay on which to live and losing this income while being disabled leaves our veterans with little or no income.
9. No Sanctuary Cities and cooperation with federal immigration officials. The Rule of Law will be enforced and respected. Citizens are of paramount importance. Illegal aliens have no Constitutional protection; they are not citizens.
10. A standing anti-government corruption agency which investigates background and connections to all government officials when determining state contracts.
11. Strict merit-based system for all state employment, appointments and for admittance to state education institutions.
12. A tax break for homeowners who have no kids in school or are homeschooling their kids. Citizens will not pay for a school system they are not using or are paying for public schools while teaching their own kids at home. This will force the state schools to become a “product” worth paying for. The contrary argument is that all citizens benefit from well-funded schools. However, the current public school system is a poor-performing state indoctrination center and does not adequately educate our children.
13. No Common Core and no teacher evaluations based on state standardized tests. Teachers will be able to get back to the business of instructing and educating our children as opposed to teaching rote memorization so the students can pass state-imposed standardized tests.
14. The state will institute and enforce a curriculum in all state-funded public schools on the United States Constitution, the founding of America and the Constitutional Convention.
15. The State Assembly will be elected by a popular vote of eligible voters in their respective districts, apportioned by population.
16. State Senators will be appointed by their respective county legislators with a distribution of two senators per county. This gives the counties a voice in state government and will serve as a significant check on state power. It will be much more difficult for the state to impose unjust laws, unwarranted tax increases and unfunded mandates onto the counties when each of these have to pass a body made up of representatives who do not answer to the state government, but instead are answerable back to their county legislators.
17. Electors of the state Electoral College in all national presidential elections will be elected proportionately by county; the party winning the majority of the popular votes of a particular county will then elect the county representatives to the national Electoral College.
The citizens of upstate New York are not represented in their state government. America’s Founding Fathers did not anticipate that citizens would be held captive by any government that no longer represents them, both in terms of legislative power and ideologically, without those citizens having recourse to correct the situation.
Working together, with a common cause and with a firm reliance on a rightful outcome, the citizens of upstate New York can never surrender to fix what has become an intolerable condition.