What are we afraid of… in a political sense?  What is it about telling elected officials the truth about the problems we face makes people so…afraid?  I mean really, what is the worst thing that can happen?  Last I checked, they are human.  Just like you and me.

I ask that because several times last week people asked me if I was ever afraid to talk about the real issues facing New York.

My response is simple:  NO!  Why should I be?

When you have the facts and the data on your side, you need not be afraid.  And you should never be afraid to advocate for yourself.  If you don’t do it, who will?

Organizations such as Unshackle Upstate can advocate on your behalf, but advocacy is most effective when it comes directly from you – someone who can vote an elected person in or out of office. That is why Unshackle Upstate is pushing so hard for people to get involved.  We need your voice, everyone’s voice, together and amplified so that all 212 members of the legislature can hear our demand for reform.

Arnold Glasgow once wrote, “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”

Houston…we have a problem!  There is a leadership void in the halls of the Legislative Office Building.  We can change that by making sure that those that believe in us return to office next January, and that we provide them more support by electing new people that believe New York state has a problem and are willing to fix it the right way – with long-term reform rather than simple little fiscal Band-Aids on our spending wounds.

That’s what this whole thing is about.  We, the members of Unshackle Upstate , become leaders, using facts and data to drive for change.  We make the choice to demand more of our elected officials. And we do NOT fear what they may say or do.  Fear has gotten us to an unsustainable budget with a growing tax burden that cripples our homes and businesses.  Fear has made us lose our voice.

Here is my simple challenge to you: Be a a leader and use your voice to demand change.  Margaret Mead was absolutely correct when she wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

Let’s work together to grow a legion of Unshackle Army members that don’t necessarily want to change the world… just our state and those who choose to ignore us.