Majority Conference Announces Hiring Of Brennan Center’s Andrew Stengel As Senior Policy Advisory For Conference And For Senate Rules Reform Committee

Malcolm A. Smith

February 04, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith and State Senator David Valesky, Co-Chair of the State Senate’s Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform, today announced that the Senate Majority Conference has hired Andrew Stengel, former National Election Advocacy Director at the Brennan Center, to serve as Senior Policy Advisor for Government Reform.  As part of that responsibility, Mr. Stengel will advise the Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform. 

"Andrew Stengel comes to the Senate with unimpeachable credentials as a government reform advocate. His hiring shows the Senate's commitment to taking the necessary steps toward achieving a more open, accountable and inclusive legislative process," said Sen. Smith.

“As we undertake reforms that will make the Senate more deliberative, open, accountable and responsive, we thought it was critical to hire policy staff that understands the  nature of our undertaking,” said Sen. Valesky.  “Andrew Stengel has long been an advocate for reform writ large, and we look forward to his assistance as we work to make the Senate a fully functioning legislative body.”

Stengel brings more than 15 years of government, advocacy and communications experience to the Senate Majority Conference, serving at points in his career as a confidential assistant in the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo, as Northeast Director for People For the American Way, and at the Brennan Center, among other posts. He is the co-author of the recent report: Still Broken: New York State Legislative Reform 2008 Update.

The State Senate’s Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform will begin public hearings this week in Syracuse, and next week in Albany.  The complete hearing schedule is as follows: 

Friday, February 6, 2009                                                   Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1 – 4 PM                                                                              10 AM – 1 PM
Syracuse Common Council Chambers                           State Capitol, Room 124
231 Washington Street                                                    Albany, NY
Syracuse, NY  13202  

Thursday,  February 26, 2009                                          Friday, February 27, 2009
6 – 9 PM                                                                              10 AM – 1 PM

NYS Senate Hearing Room                                              Captree Commons Room 114
250 Broadway, Between Park Place & Murray St.       Suffolk Co. Community College
(across from City Hall)                                                      Brentwood Campus, Crooked Hill Road
New York, NY                                                                     Brentwood, NY  11717 (parking lot 4)  

The Hearings are open to the public to both attend and participate.  Depending on the number of people wishing to testify, some may be asked to provide written testimony, rather than oral testimony. 

The Temporary Committee has been charged with undertaking a thorough review of the how the Senate conducts its business, and with making recommendations to increase openness, fairness and accountability, and a more participatory and transparent legislative process.  The Committee is seeking input from the public regarding the following: 

·         improving the legislative process in the Senate by revising the Senate Rules, or by changing specific practices of the Senate;  

·         creating a more inclusive and deliberative Senate generally;  

·         improving the committee process, and enhancing Member involvement in that process;  

·         using the Internet and other electronic media to make the legislative process more transparent to the public and interested parties; and 

·         the fair distribution of resources to Senators and Senate Committees in their representation of the people of New York State. 

            Those wishing to testify are asked to contact Ariana Caplan, at (518)-455-2838,  or Langdon Chapman at (518) 455-3181 (  

As the Senior Policy Advisor for Government Reform, Mr. Stengel’s salary will be $110,000.