For Immediate Release: May 3, 2011
Livestream and audience-tweeted questions empower unprecedented public participation to reform Albany
(Albany, NY) Answering the public’s call for immediate action on ethics reform, Senator Daniel Squadron, joined by members of the Senate Democratic Conference will hold the first ever interactive public forum on ethics reform on Wednesday, May 4th, in Albany.
Despite overwhelming public support, Senate Republicans continue to stall progress and refuse to allow public hearings on key ethics legislation. To break the Albany logjam and increase public participation, Senate Democrats will convene their own interactive ethics forum broadcast live over the Internet accepting viewer-submitted questions via Twitter , LiveStream , Facebook  and E-Mail .
Under Senate Rule VII Section 4(b), the public forum will include discussion of legislation under the jurisdiction of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee and other proposed bills including:
- Establishing an independent commission on governmental ethics (S31/Squadron); 
- Increasing financial and client disclosure requirements (S382/Rivera) ;
- Stripping pensions of public officials convicted of misusing their office (S2333/Krueger) ;
- Restricting the personal use of campaign funds (S3053/Krueger) ; and
- Eliminating Pay-to-Play (S1565/Addabbo) .
Using new media and social networking tools to open up government and engage the public in an unprecedented effort to reform Albany, Senate Democrats will:
- Stream video and audio in real time, launching their own LiveStream channel ;
- Broadcast live updates on Facebook , LiveStream  and Twitter , and live photostreaming to TwitPic ; and
- Accept real time questions from the public to be used by Senators during the forum via @NYSenDems  and the hashtags #AlbanyEthics  and #NYSenate , and via NYSenDems@gmail.com .
State Senator Daniel Squadron said, "For Albany to do the people's business, we must change the way Albany does business. Most of the way through the legislative session, we have yet to see any action on the fundamental reforms that almost every Senator has pledged to support. Passage of a real ethics package will lend much-needed transparency and accountability to our state government, helping restore New Yorkers' trust and allowing us all to better tackle the dire challenges facing our state."
"With this first-ever interactive forum on ethics, we are bringing the public into the conversation. Live video and twitter will give all New Yorkers an important opportunity to listen, to ask questions, and to join us in demanding action on these vital reforms," said Squadron.
Senator Daniel Squadron
Senator Liz Krueger
Senator Gustavo Rivera
Senator Joe Addabbo
Senator Tony Avella
Senator Neil Breslin
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Members of the Senate Democratic Conference
Brennan Center for Justice
Citizen Action of New York
Common Cause NY
League of Women Voters of New York
WHEN: Wednesday, May 4th 1 PM (or immediately following the conclusion of session)
WHERE: Hearing Room A in the LOB
To watch the forum live online, please visit http://www.livestream.com/NYSenDems .