Dear David Patterson,
Today, I have a big thumbs up AND a big thumbs down for you. We'll do the negative first, so we can end on a positive note. Sooo.... a 40% cut to the New York State Council on the Arts' local funding (grants)? REALLY? Per capita, that reduces the arts spending from $2.48 to $0.77. This drops us below the national average of $0.90 per capita arts spending. THIS IS NEW YORK! When you think of art, what state comes to mind first? WE DO. And if these cuts go through, we'll be spending less than average on arts for our citizens. In addition to the inevitable closure of several small cultural institutions across the state who DEPEND on that money, and the loss of arts opportunities for schools and communities, when it comes down to it, cutting that funding is also cutting JOBS. Tell Governor Patterson, Lt. Governor Ravitch and your Upper and Lower Chamber Representatives that you're NOT OK with this drastic cut by clicking here (I've posted similar advocacy links before- it takes TWO minutes to have your voice heard)!
And now, for the positive. Your new Straight Talk, Straight Answers Blog is a pretty darn good idea, Governor. Really- why didn't this exist before? This tool allows New Yorker tax payers to voice their concerns and discontents with the way their tax dollars are spent, ask questions and receive answers from the Governor's office, and brainstorm solutions to our crippling deficit. If you care about NY and how Albany spends your tax dollars, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out this site.