Cuomo makes good on promise of transparency

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Word cloud of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2011 inaugural speech


On January 1, 2011, Andrew Cuomo took the oath of office and officially became Governor of New York. His inauguration speech lasted approximately 25 minutes and touched on everything from capping the growth of local property taxes to removing the concrete barriers that surrounded the capitol building in Albany since the Sept. 11 attacks. Near the end of his speech, he promised "today, my friends, we will reopen the Capitol, literally and figuratively."[1]

This month, the first-term Democrat launched a new website, touted as an electronic town hall, that encourages New Yorkers to "care enough to connect to your state government."[2] The site, accessible at both http://governor.ny.gov/citizenconnects/ and http://www.citizenconnects.com, offers citizens the opportunity to participate in live on-line chats about insurance claims from the recent storms with the state superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, or get their questions about hydrofracking by answered by Joe Martens, head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. People can watch a live stream of the governor's events, view a map of places where the governor and lieutenant governor have visited recently, or search for state government events in their local community.

Of the website and his follow-through on a campaign promise to bring more transparency to the state government, Cuomo said, "To get government to change, you need people to make their voices heard. So I've been trying to do everything I can for the past nine months to get people to show up to events, to get people to email, to get people to talk to their legislators, and this is a vehicle to try and get people to do that."[3]

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