• 50 Years - A Million Thanks
NEW YORK VOICES
home feature story archive
feedback featured voices about the series
Feature

Fixing Albany


The book three man in a room
How democratic is Albany? There are 212 elected members of the Assembly and Senate of New York State, but 210 of them have virtually no power, according to Suzanne Novak of NYU's Brennan Center and Former State Senator Seymour Lachman. They say that almost all major decisions in Albany are made by just three men: the Governor, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Of these three men only the Governor is elected statewide, while Senator Bruno and the Assembly Speaker Silver's constituents make up just 3 percent of all voters in the state.

Two years ago, NYU's Brennan Center for Justice issued a report calling New York State's government the most dysfunctional in the nation, which received widespread coverage, and led both houses of the legislature to enact rule changes. On October 11th, the Brennan Center released a follow up study, finding that "in spite of some modest reforms, the quantitative evidece "from 2005 shows that the State's legislative process remains broken".

Photo of Suzanne Novak
Rafael Pi Roman interviews Suzanne Novak, who is the Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, and Former New York State Senator Seymour Lachman, and author of the recently released,
THREE MEN IN A ROOM: THE INSIDER STORY OF POWER AND BETRAYAL IN AN AMERICAN STATEHOUSE.



Send Us Your Feedback!
Watch the Video
Fixing Albany: Rafael Pi Roman interviews Suzanne Novak and Seymour Lachman about legislative dysfunction in Albany. Photo of Seymour Lachman
ModemCable/DSL
View the Video Gallery
Thirteen WNET New York