Reinvent Albany advocates for transparent and accountable New York government. We work to strengthen the Freedom of Information Law and put government information online. We advocate for government open data and the laws, practices, and funding to make it happen. We seek more accountable and better-governed state authorities, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). We believe fair, clean elections are the bedrock of our democracy and support common-sense, proven ways of reducing barriers to voting and reducing the influence of big money on elections. We fight to reduce New York’s $10 billion/year in taxpayer subsidies to corporations and ensure any subsidies are transparent and justified by facts and careful analysis. We aim to create a state government that is responsible, responsive, and above-board. We champion public integrity measures that reduce the risk of corruption and favor the public interest over the few and well-connected.
Open Government, Open Data, and Freedom of Information that put the state’s and city’s vast wealth of digital information online and allow the public to see what our state government is doing, how it spends our taxpayer funds, and who gets those funds. We fight for strong, effective Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and practices that take full advantage of technology so that FOIL works better, is less expensive, and complements Open Data.
Clean, Accountable Government with independent oversight, ethical behavior, responsible public authorities, honest budgeting, dedicated funds, and transparent lump sum spending. We expect New York government to be fiscally honest: to account for spending and borrowing in the budget and spend every cent of dedicated transit, clean water, and climate funds as pledged to the public.
End Corporate Giveaways so that NY taxpayers stop giving away $10 billion a year in ineffective and wasteful subsidies to businesses that are motivated by politics and pay-to-play, and are highly vulnerable to corruption.
Strong, Healthy Democracy with high voter turnout, publicly financed elections, vote by mail, ranked choice voting, and controls on campaign contributions and dark money.
What We Have Won
Open Government, Open Data, and Freedom of Information
- The first Open Data Law in the world – the NYC Open Data Law – and a fully-funded open data initiative.
- Creation of NY State’s robust “Open NY” / Open Data Initiative via executive order.
- Passage of the “MTA Open Data Act,” which will allow the public to see information about the MTA’s finances and performance in an open data format.
- Requirement that community advisory committees for economic development projects meet openly.
- Passage of requirement that FOIL requesters who “substantially prevail” in court will have their attorneys’ fees reimbursed.
- Requirement that agencies provide a “specific and particularized” justification for rejecting FOIL requests.
- Law requiring a “Database of Deals,” tracking most of the state’s business subsidies.
- Creation of the NYS Open Budget website.
- Publication of more NYS COVID-19 open datasets.
Clean, Accountable Government
- NYS Transit “Lockbox” law preventing raids on the MTA’s dedicated funds by requiring the executive to show the impact raids would have on transit service.
- In coalition, we stopped the diversion of $500m in Clean Water Funds for Tappan Zee Bridge construction.
- Increased funding for the Authorities Budget Office, which oversees nearly 600 state and local authorities in New York spending tens of billions of dollars every year.
- Restoration of the Comptroller’s contract oversight powers that were stripped away by Gov. Cuomo in 2011 and 2012.
End to $10 Billion/Year in Corporate Giveaways
- Partial end to NY Opportunity Zone tax break. We continue to advocate for a complete end to this Trump-era handout that will soon cost NY government over $400m a year in lost revenue.
Strong, Healthy Democracy
- Establishment of a state public campaign finance program, as part of the Fair Elections Coalition.
- Rejection of a bill that would have gutted New York City’s independent Campaign Finance Board.