Malcolm's Big Meeting in Albany

About that meeting for staffers in Albany yesterday…

It was for Senate Democratic staffers that work in local district offices across the state. At the meeting, they got to hear from direclty their conference leader, Malcolm Smith.

In a public statement, Smith's office said, "Staff members came to the State Museum in Albany from locations as far away as Buffalo and Long Island."

Getting to the meeting was an out of pocket expense. A spokesman for Smith said staffers were not reimbursed for the costs associated with getting to the meeting.

The meeting itself though was a unique venture. When’s the last time a conference leader met with staffers directly, let alone staffers in district offices?

“The purpose of the meeting was to unveil the Conference’s “9 to 5 Agenda” for improving  quality of life in New York. It also mobilized staff to develop a comprehensive plan for putting the needs of hard-working New Yorkers and families first,” according to the public statement.

The full statement about the meeting is after the jump.

Meeting served as opportunity for Smith to introduce“9-to-5 Agenda”
of policy goals and energize staff in developing plan for Conference's
future State Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens) today held what is believed to be the first ever meeting of the Senate
Democratic Conference's entire 300-person staff at the State Museum in Albany.

The purpose of the meeting was to unveil the Conference’s “9 to 5
Agenda” for improving  quality of life in New York. It also
mobilized staff to develop a comprehensive plan for putting the
needs of hard-working New Yorkers and families first.

“Since becoming the Leader, I have wanted to make sure that each
and every member of the staff has a hand in how we set our policy. I
truly believe that there are no better people to ask about the
direction of our State than these dedicated, hard working New
Yorkers who are trying to improve the quality of life for their
family and neighbors,” Smith said.

Staff members came to the State Museum in Albany from locations as
far away as Buffalo and Long Island. After lunch, Senator Smith
introduced the Conference’s “9 to 5 Agenda: Making New York a Better Place to Live, Work, Grow and Thrive.”

Smith said the State has for too long enacted policies that have
hampered New Yorkers who want to raise their children, be safe and
start businesses.

“People have been looking for change for several years now, be it
in the area of government reform, health care, education or any
other number of topics. And they are looking to Governor Spitzer and
Senate Democrats to help bring about that change. Before the 2004
elections, there were only 24 Senate Democrats. In the space of two
years and three months, we have added five members to our ranks,” Smith
said.

Smith also touted the 2020 Vision, a plan to help New York regain
its prominence by the end of the next decade.

“I am proud to be the leader of a conference that has 29 of the
best and brightest minds in our State, but we would be nothing if it
weren’t for our staff. From Buffalo to Long Island, and from
Syracuse to Queens, they are here to help us do our jobs to the best
of our ability. When we win two more seats and take the majority,
these workers will help us attain our goal of making New York a
state whose government is responsive to people who elected it,”
Smith concluded.

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