UJP Announces the Upstate Jobs Caucus in Legislature to focus on common sense, bipartisan solutions to problems facing Upstate New York

Albany, NY – The Upstate Jobs Party (UJP) today announced the creation of the new bipartisan Upstate Jobs Caucus in the New York State legislature.  This new caucus includes Republicans and Democrats alike, uniting for the first time formally to focus on tackling important issues for Upstate New Yorkers.  This new caucus has outlined a clear four-point platform of common sense issues to address together, without the partisan bickering far too frequently deployed in politics.

This new caucus will be Co-Chaired by Senator Daphne Jordan (R-Halfmoon) and Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) and met for the first time just last week. 

The Upstate Jobs Caucus will focus on four key issues:

  • Education Reform – a bureaucratic top-down approach to education has our students stuck in a “college or bust” loop that restricts innovative teachers, hinders skills-based learning, and ultimately gives short shrift to workforce development needs that can help lift up students/employees and local businesses.
  • Economic Development Reform – New York spends too much money and effort trying to pick winners and losers instead of focusing on issues that can truly help grow economic development, like reliable high speed broadband across all of Upstate.
  • Supporting the Innovation Economy – Innovation Economy jobs lift communities up, driving higher job creation multipliers (5:1), and ultimately succeed when intellectual capital meets market demands created by the new economy.  Driving awareness of the underutilized Qualified Emerging Technology Company (QETC) tax credit can help spur investment and economic growth.
  • Holistic Government Reform – Every day shows a greater need for accountability and transparency in government.  A State government that is not forthcoming with data and unaccountable to its voters is a failing government. New York needs a true independent JCOPE, election law reform, and a return to a balanced system of checks and balances.

Senator Jordan said, “This new caucus presents the first time Upstate leaders from both parties have united to seek holistic government reform in a bipartisan manner.  I’m proud to lead this effort with Assemblymember Santabarbara and so many of our colleagues.  We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, reach across the aisle and get this done!”

Assemblyman Santabarbara said, “As Upstate legislators, we share challenges that rise above party lines. From agriculture to tourism, our region provides invaluable resources and unique industries that will be key to building a brighter future for our entire state. I’m eager to work with Senator Jordan and colleagues from both parties to advance a comprehensive agenda this legislative session that takes on the issues facing our upstate communities and builds back our economy stronger than ever.”

While the Caucus membership is expected to grow, the initial members of the Caucus are geographically diverse and bipartisan, including:

  • Co-Chair/Senator Daphne Jordan, Republican (Capital Region)
  • Co-Chair/Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara, Democrat, (Capital Region)
  • Senator Joe Griffo, Republican (Mohawk Valley), Assistant Minority Leader
  • Senator Peter Oberacker, Republican (Mohawk Valley)
  • Senator Pam Helming, Republican (Southern Tier)
  • Senator Mike Martucci, Republican (Hudson Valley)
  • Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, Democrat (Capital Region)
  • Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon, Democrat (Mohawk Valley)
  • Assemblymember Billy Jones, Democrat (North Country)
  • Assemblymember Al Stirpe, Democrat (Central New York).

During the initial Caucus meeting, members discussed legislative priorities, but also were asked to focus on best practices they can identify in their districts, as well as focusing on local employer needs.  The caucus plans to meet regularly to seek common sense solutions and collaborate on legislative and budgetary matters.

Upstate Jobs Party Founder Martin Babinec said, “The willingness of this bipartisan slate of legislators to work together for change is a critical achievement in efforts to reform state government.  We know that we must unite to seek reform within our State government, and these legislators are the dynamic leaders committed to begin that important work.”

About UJP

UJP is focused on policies to stem the outflow of our young talent, getting government out of the way of job-creating investors and entrepreneurs, and reforming New York State government. Since 2017, UJP has supported candidates seeking to fix a broken government in New York.  Since then, more than 2/3 of the candidates supported by UJP have been elected to State and Local office in New York.  Volunteers interested in joining the effort to create more jobs in Upstate NY, keep our best and brightest talent from leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and build a more transparent and accountable government are encouraged to visit www.UpstateJobs.org to learn more.