April 30, 2002
Dear Independence Party State Committee Member:
Today our crusade to give people a direct voice in their government and to expand freedom and opportunity for all New Yorkers has made important progress. I'm proud to report to you that the New York State Senate has passed our Initiative and Referendum legislation!
This is incredible news. I wanted to be one of the first to share it with you.
As you know, just weeks ago Governor Pataki presented our plan for sweeping and fundamental change to New York State's government through Citizen Initiative & Referendum. I knew when we first introduced our plan that it wouldn't be easy. The forces against change, the special interests and their allies in the State legislature were poised and ready to rally against Initiative & Referendum and put an end to our plan for progress.
That's why, after we announced our plan for Citizen Initiative & Referendum, I was determined to travel across New York State, gathering support for this important and much needed legislation.
I knew if I took our plan directly to the people - we would get results! With the spirit of New Yorkers and the support and faith of New York State's Independence Party behind us, we've already found incredible success.
New York State Senate Bill #7306 is exactly what we've been working toward. This legislation will allow everyday New Yorkers to place issues important to them on New York's election ballot. This means every New Yorker, all New Yorkers, will have a greater voice and more opportunity to produce change in government.
But we can't celebrate yet! There are more hurdles to overcome. The opposition forces in the State Assembly promise to be a significant impediment to real reform. Now more than ever, Governor Pataki and I are counting on your support and your help.
I want you to know this is only the first of many steps in Governor Pataki's program for reform. We're counting on your help as we continue to make our government more accountable and more responsive to its citizens. Together, we'll make real progress - not only through Initiative and Referendum but also by enacting real campaign finance reforms and changing the way our schools are run and funded.
Governor Pataki and I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with and hear the ideas of so many Independence Party members across our State. So many of you have become good friends and such great help. During my recent trips to the Hudson Valley and Buffalo, I was joined by many Independence Party members who support our Initiative & Referendum plan.
Next week, I'll be traveling to Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown and Plattsburgh to talk to more New Yorkers about Citizen Initiative & Referendum. I hope that you will consider joining me when I'm in your area. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and advice.
Governor Pataki and I are proud of the work we are doing together with the Independence Party. I hope we can count on your support and friendship in the coming weeks and months as we continue our crusade for more freedom and more opportunity.
Mary O. Donohue
Lieutenant Governor of New York State
P.S. Because I know you share our commitment to giving New Yorkers a real voice in their government, Governor Pataki and I wanted you to be the first to know of our progress. But we have more work to do if we want to get our plan for Citizen Initiative & Referendum passed. The Governor and I hope we can count on your continued support. We'll keep you posted on our efforts.
Note: The copy of the above letter received for posting on this web site was labeled "draft".
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