CGR broke new ground with two initiatives in 2006. Each probed issues of concern to New Yorkers by building on our expertise – objective research and critical analysis.
New York Matters
This first-ever statewide research, information and civic engagement project was designed to identify voters' top concerns and focus candidates on issues. The New York Matters initiative unfolded in the months leading up to the election of the state's first new governor in 12 years.
New York Matters Sponsors
Central New York Community
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Edward P. Curtis, Jr.
John F. & Barbara Kraushaar
Long Island Community Foundation
New York Community Trust
Lawrence L. Peckham
Rochester Area Community Foundation
Rochester Institute of Technology
The project's centerpiece – a CGR-designed, probing survey of 2,500 New Yorkers – was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Polling yielded data we analyzed to identify voter priorities regionally and statewide.
We publicized findings on the web, in media outlets, and via public television; issued white papers; and sponsored public forums tailored to regional concerns. In pre-election forums, assisted by expert panelists, decision makers and poll respondents, we highlighted taxes on Long Island, education in New York City, the economy in Buffalo and Rochester, and government reform in Syracuse.
Since property taxes were a particular concern, we hosted a post-election forum in Albany , inviting well-respected experts to offer ideas on “Reforming New York 's Property Tax.” Among the standing-room-only audience who listened and debated the different options proposed were members and staff of the Senate and Assembly, state agency representatives and policy experts.
CGR appreciates our many generous sponsors who made this important project possible. We are also grateful to organizations that assisted us, including the NYC Citizens Budget Commission; University of Buffalo Regional Institute; Long Island Association, Onondaga Citizens League, Hofstra University and Baruch College.
We analyzed the $1.7 billion in grants (all borrowed funds) handed out since 1997 by state legislators for “capital” projects. This first-ever geographic analysis found stark differences in benefits for regions and interest groups; secret agreements among top state leaders; fewer checks on spending than other states; and added debt for New York, now the nation's second most-indebted state. Our recommendation – “let the sun shine on this process.”
Other Projects with Statewide Impact
- Managing Early Intervention & Pre-School Programs — Measuring Cost Effectiveness for Counties — see Management Consulting
- NYS Health Foundation – Consulting for Startup Health Care Conversion Foundation – see Management Consulting
- Economic Significance of Independent Colleges & Universities in NYS – see Economic Impact