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Note to Lawmakers

August 3, 2010

Rather than joining the chorus of condemnation, we want to offer encouragement as you return today and endeavor to finalize a state budget. 

You need to remember something: You are part of the most celebrated state legislative body in American history. 

That is undeniably true. The New York State Legislature, operating from the same ornate Capitol building in which you will sit this morning, was the driving force behind virtually every major progressive initiative of the 20th century. Pioneering legislation — in labor rights, women’s rights; environmental protection, civil rights, financial regulation, consumer protection, and health care — was developed and passed by New York lawmakers such as yourselves. 

We know what you and others might be thinking: That was then and this is now. 

True enough, but there’s nothing holding you back in advancing new ideas to improve people’s lives. It happened before, and there’s no reason it can’t happen again. 

Lawmakers of an earlier generation weren’t any better than you, except in one respect: They may have had more courage. Politics didn’t rule them. Instead, they wanted more than anything else to get things done and they did.   

Please think about this today and in the weeks ahead. There’s no reason this legislative body can’t be perceived as a national leader again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 3, 2010 12:10 PM

    Nice try. But nothing is going to work with these guys. Nothing will happen until after the elections.

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