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To: Albany County Legislature

Oppose Resolution 218

The policy as written is problematic. It discusses when a proclamations should and shouldn’t be issued. However, it opens the door for loopholes, which can be used to apply the policy in a discriminatory manner.

The following changes should be made:
1. The policy should be definitive, the use of the word generally before outlining when a proclamation should or shouldn’t be issued opens the door to proclamations that don’t accurately reflect the views of the greater Albany County community.
2. Proclamations should be available publicly, and information on who signed on to them should be easily accessible.
3. Proclamations should be issued after a period of public comment. This is especially true if the legislature elects to take advantage of the built in loophole that allows them to issue controversial proclamations. Civil discourse is a hallmark of a democratic society and it should be encouraged so that people in the community can express their concern or support, and listen to others in a respectful manner.
4.The new policy created a mechanism for requests for proclamations, but it didn’t compel a response from the legislature. People deserve to know if their proclamations are being denied, and why.

Why is this important?

In 2008, an Albany county legislator tried to pass a resolution in opposition to the Iraq War. It led to an hours long debate on the floor, and what came of it was that Albany county decided that Resolutions would be used to codify things into law, while Proclamations which are not voted on, but legislators sign on to if they would like, can be used as an honorary/symbolic gesture of support.

Recently, the Albany County legislature has decided they want to codify the policy around proclamations, more specifically they don't want to issue proclamations for controversial issues, or for issues that urge another body to take action. However, they have drafted a policy that doesn't outright exclude such proclamations from being issued.

This is problematic because it gives rise for the policy to be applied in a potentially discriminatory manner.

How it will be delivered

Via Email, and hard copy during legislative forum on 05/13/2024



2024-05-13 13:12:01 -0400

50 signatures reached

2024-05-13 01:53:41 -0400

25 signatures reached

2024-05-12 13:18:32 -0400

10 signatures reached