A Message from Our Executive Director
Though I have seen a lot over my 25-years of political activity focused on change and reform in New York, I was still stunned about the alleged brazenness of our two state legislative leaders - now former Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Leader Dean Skelos - in the conduct of their public duties from which they profited personally. That both of them were forced to step down from their leadership posts within months of each other because of political corruption is unprecedented in our state’s history.
Citizens Union was born out of citizen outrage at the corruption of Tammany Hall and it has remained one of our key pursuits – honest and effective government free from corruption. But it is a never-ending process that keeps us on our toes and fighting for reform - successfully.
With 29 state lawmakers forced from office over the past 16 years because of misconduct and corruption, it is easy to come to the conclusion that all politics is corrupt and Albany a lost cause. But there is hope that the tide is turning.
More corruption is being exposed because of stronger enforcement and better ethics laws. What was once unethical but nevertheless legal in NY ten years ago is changing. Citizens Union’s work in pushing for change is paying off. And though more corruption will be exposed soon, more change is coming too. And then, we will have a better political system that attracts better and more honest elected officials.
Stay connected with CU and our work. Help us in our efforts to lessen corruption and strengthen our ethics and campaign finance laws by making an added gift to CU or renew your membership. We are making a difference because of you and your support.