From the Desk of the Executive Director Brian Sampson

What’s Inside

  • A Message from Brian Sampson
  • – Support Unshackle Upstate
    – Join Our Fight
    – Unshackle Upstate Wins Two Internet Advertising Competition Awards

  • Albany Update*
  • Cuomo Appoints Perales as Secretary of State*
  • Queens Assemblywoman Retires*
  • Richard Elected Rochester Mayor*
  • Attorney General Says Indian Point a Fire Risk*
  • E-Waste Law Takes Effect*
  • Coming Up*
  • Unshackle Upstate in the News

* Content only available to Unshackle Army members. Sign up here to receive the full version of the Unshackle Upstate Update.

A Message from Brian Sampson

In the early morning hours of Thursday, March 31st, the Legislature completed voting on the 2011-12 State Budget.  The new budget totals $132.5 billion, and reduces overall spending 2 percent from the current year without new taxes or borrowing.  In addition, the Enacted State Budget eliminates a projected $10 billion deficit and reduces the projected budget deficit for 2012–2013 from $15 billion to approximately $2 billion.

This budget represents a major victory for Unshackle Upstate and all of our supporters who have been assisting us in our efforts in Albany for lower taxes, lower spending, reduced mandates and reduced state debt. During the budget process, we were ultimately successful in defeating a proposed tax on certain health care services.  If enacted, this expansion on the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) surcharge would have represented a $100 million broad-based tax increase when fully implemented, resulting in an additional 1-2% in the cost of our health insurance premiums.

Support Unshackle Upstate

We need your help!  Unshackle Upstate continues to fight for Upstate’s taxpayers and job creators and for a New York State with lower taxes, lower spending, reduced mandates and reduced state debt. Our efforts to revive the Upstate economy and promote private sector job growth would be impossible without your support. Whether it’s $50 or $500, your contribution will enable us to amplify our voice in Albany and help fight back against well-funded interests that are committed to maintaining the status quo.  Only by working together, can we change New York and make it a better place to live and work.

Click here to contribute to Unshackle Upstate’s efforts.

Join our Fight!

With the completion of the State Budget, we now have a tremendous opportunity to build on the positive momentum generated it’s imperative that we continue to focus on many of the “non budget” proposals necessary to making New York State a better place for the taxpayers and businesses that reside here.  We need Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to take immediate action to enact a two-percent property tax cap; provide real mandate relief for our local schools and governments; and reform the public-sector pension system. We cannot do this alone and need you to continue to contact your representatives in Albany to tell them that you support the tax cap and mandate relief proposals.  We cannot afford any further delays and uncertainty on these issues, and we need you to recruit your family, friends and neighbors to join our efforts.

Click here to send your pro tax cap message directly to the Governor and Legislature.

Unshackle Upstate Wins Two Internet Advertising Competition Awards

Unshackle Upstate took home the top award in the Best Advocacy Social Media Campaign AND the Best Government Social Media campaign categories in the 2011 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards. The IAC Awards are produced by the Web Marketing Association to recognize outstanding achievements in online advertising and communications.

Our creative messaging and social media structure went up against the biggest agencies in the industry and won. Other winners from various categories include Toyota, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Hanes, Mattel and President Obama. Needless to say, we’re extremely proud of this accomplishment.

Special thanks to our social media team at Overdrive Interactive, Ellen Rosen from the Rochester Business Alliance and our communications team at Corning Place Consulting and Hinman Straub for their efforts in making our social media campaign a real success story!

Learn more about the IAC Awards here.

If you know of someone who may be interested in Unshackle Upstate Update but who might not be on our distribution list – friends, family members, co-workers – please feel free to forward it to them.  If we are going to get our representatives in Albany to take the tough steps that need to be taken, we need all the help we can get.  In addition, if you would like Unshackle Upstate to speak to your group or make a presentation at an event, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you have any suggestions about how we can improve this product, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at

To read the full version of this week’s Unshackle Upstate Update, sign up here!