1. How do we decide what is included in the new 51st state?
We believe the fairest way to do this is hold a referendum in each county; a referendum, that would ask the citizens to vote on whether they wish their county to joint the new 51st state or continue within the existing state (see question # 11).
2. Is there a process for forming a new state?
Yes! It is not easy, however. The original framers of the United States' Constitution were heavy "states' rights" advocates and didn't provide for the easy dissolution of a state. To form a new state from components of an existing state requires approval of both that state and the federal government.
3. Is it possible for downstate to hold Upstate captive? That is, refuse to allow the new state.
Absolutely! Downstate has the votes and the political power to do just that. Will they, however, is another question.
We believe that attempting to hold a people "captive" is fraught with all kinds of problems. To begin with, that strategy would alienate even those voters who disagreed with forming a new state. Just look at Belfast, to see how people respond when held against their will.
4. Will people in the other states support the formation of a new 51st state?
We believe the answer is YES! After all, the purpose of the new state is to stem the decline and turn Upstate into a productive member of the US. Failure to allow the new state to form will just cost the other states federal money to fund badly needed welfare and housing programs.
5. Is there a name for the new state?
That has yet to be determined. So far, people have suggested West York, Central York and North York. Further, some believe we should look to names from native people of this area. What's your suggestion?
6. Where would the capital be located?
Again that has yet to be determined, but ideally in a place where 80% of the population could drive within 3 hours. We don't know if such a place exists, but our institutions of higher learning should be able to determine if it does and where it is.
7. How big would the new government be?
That can only be determined by a constitutional convention. Today we have 61 senators and 150 assemblymen. Some have suggested that due to "population" we need such a large government. Well, poor California with some 30 to 35 million inhabitants suffers with a measly 40 state senators and 80 assemblymen.
We'd "suggest" a government consisting of 1 assemblyman for each county (40 to 50) and then senate districts that would group counties together to achieve population equality. End result would be 20 to 25 senators.
8. What would you do with NYS's massive debt?
There are fair ways of dividing it between the two states. By population, would probably be the fairest, simplest and easiest for voters to swallow.
9. It's been said that separating Upstate from NYC would only create "a state with the economic capability of West Virginia without the mines".
This is "pure rubbish". Lets take a quick inventory of what we have:
1. A strong agricultural base (and we admit it has it's problems right now)
2. Access to all the major markets on the Great Lakes (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc)
3. Access to international ports (Montreal, Boston, Baltimore, NYC - yes it's not going to disappear!)
4. Excellent system of higher education
With the right government, we could survive and even prosper. The notion, that we can only survive living on the scraps tossed up by New York City, is pure folly!
10. What is so "bad" about districts, both senate and assembly?
Just about everything! These districts cross county lines and group people together solely because they happen to vote one way or another. That is, the districts were drawn so that the party in power will remain in power. We'd be far better off having a government based on "communities of similar interests".
Just imagine the mess we would have if the Federal House of Representatives' districts were allowed to cross state lines. In the same way, we should limit our state government representatives to county lines. That way the people they represent will have "similar interests", namely the well being of their county! Further, those same people will be able to hold their representatives accountable for policies that fail to meet the needs of their county. Today, it's impossible to hold anyone accountable for anything!
11. Can you list the steps to form a new state?
Naturally, there is more than one way to do this. Below we've identified one possible method:
a) Hold referendum in each county asking citizens to vote on whether they wish to send a delegate to a constitutional convention to form a new 51st state.
b) Hold a constitutional convention consisting of the delegates nominated. End result is a constitution that is hammered out between the delegates. In this "hammering" process stealing "good" solutions/ideas from other states is encouraged.
c) Submit the constitution back to the voters in each county to seek ratification.
d) The counties, which achieve ratification by a majority vote, will form the core of the new state.
e) Invite "islands", those counties surrounded by the new state, to join via the same ratification process.
f) Petition both the Congress and NYS to approve the formation of the new state with it's constitution.
g) Once approved by both Congress and NYS, begin the "divorce"; that is, the dividing up of assets and responsibilities.
12. People have stated that we cannot do this because the process of dividing the state is too complicated. Is this true?
It's true that it will be complicated! Nevertheless, it's no worse than a divorce in a lengthy marriage. In other words, who would keep a "bad marriage" together, just because the divorce and dividing up of assets and responsibilities is difficult? It will be painful, but not as painful for Upstate as continuing the slow death caused by this "one sided" marriage.
13. Can anything be done in the new state to solve the problem of late state budgets?
Absolutely!! We suggest the following language in the new state constitution:
"If the state
budget is not passed 30 days after it's due date, new elections
will be called for the legislature and governor.
Immediately after this election, the existing office holders will
be dismissed and the new office holders will be sworn in.
None of the existing office holders will be candidates for any of
the offices in this new election."
In the private sector failure to perform your assigned tasks is grounds for dismissal. Why should we expect anything less from our elected officials?
14. Can anything be done to prevent the new state's politicians from voting themselves pay raises that are outrageous (like 38%)?
Absolutely!! Pay will
be set in the new state constitution and will be index to the
average pay raise or DECLINE of the working people in the new
state. If the state prospers, then so shall it's leaders,
but if the state declines then its leaders will suffer along with
those they represent.
By including pay
provisions in the state constitution, the only way for
legislators to alter is via a constitutional amendment and this
is much harder to do than the last 38% pay raise they voted for
themselves ... after 3 long minutes of debate.
Any questions? Please E-mail us