Greater Western New York
Make It Independent!

Join the movement to give Greater Western New York the freedom it deserves.

The Greater Western New York Region can become independent. There are many different ways this can happen. In all likelihood, true independence will require a patient and deliberative course of action that involves each of these methods at various points in the process.

A Metaphor:

If the United States were governed as a single state, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for state governance to vary according to the culture of a local area. The purpose of having state lines is to allow this variance.

Historical Origins:

The Greater Western New York border was initially established by Preemption Line following the Treaty of Hartford between the States of New York and Massachusetts on December 16, 1786. After the formation of new counties and the shifting of county lines, the region now contains 17 counties.

The 17 western-most counties in New York State not only have a shared history, they have a shared geography that gives them different priorities than other parts of the state. It is no longer reasonable to expect those who reside in the original part of the State to set aside their priorities to placate those who live in the western part of the State. Just as those in the original part of the State should focus on their own needs, so, too, should the people of the Greater Western New York Region be allowed to concentrate on their own wants and desires.

This is the definition of independence. It is mutual. It is self-defining. It is, ultimately, the kind of freedom America’s Founding Fathers envisioned for all our country’s citizens.

A Spectrum of Paths Towards Growing Independence:

What does independence mean to you? It generally means the freedom to live the life you want, teach your kids your values, and build a community of like-minded individuals without undo interference from those far removed from your beliefs.

It turns out there are plenty of paths to achieve independence. Each builds on the other. Can you skip a step? In the ideal world, yes you can. But in the world of patience and diligence, accomplishing this goal takes time as it comes easiest with a series of incremental wins. Every win moves you closer to the objective.

Done correctly, this process should transcend party politics and create a win-win opportunity for the interests of both sections of the current State.  Click the drop-down links below to see why:

This is a political strategy long practiced within the United States. We see it happening today when individual states and cities decide they will not enforce existing federal law. Examples in “sanctuary” cities that openly house illegal aliens or openly allow firearms deemed illegal by federal law. Perhaps the most recent example is New York State (among other states) deciding it will no longer prosecute federal drug laws by “legalizing” recreational marijuana.

This same strategy was practiced in New York State by several counties regarding the hastily passed SAFE Act. This controversial law was so flawed, sheriffs in individual counties spoke out against it and refused to enforce it. Ultimately, the most egregious aspects of the SAFE Act fell away in court.

It’s important to note that nullification only targets specific laws. All other laws remain in place.

As you can tell, this path is already being taken. Most recently, Cattaraugus County declared itself a “Constitutional County,” in essence, taking a symbolic stand in favor of nullifying any State or Federal actions that run contrary to the U.S. Constitution. If you’d like to learn more about this, click here.

An “Autonomous Zone” is defined geographic territory, much like a county is defined, within an existing state that has full and complete control over all legislative, jurisdictional, and governance matters within its borders.

This can be accomplished solely within the existing political infrastructure of New York State. Both the New York Senate and the New York Assembly would have to pass bills designating the Greater Western New York Region as an independent autonomous zone.

As an autonomous region, we would still be affiliated with New York State and certain assets (like the SUNY schools and State prisons as well as the transportation and energy infrastructure) would continue to be operated on a “joint venture” basis. All other policies, rules, and regulations would be subject to a terminal sunset provision long enough for the new autonomous government to reconsider their relevance and, if necessary, replace them.

The idea of autonomy is different than nullification because it would require addressing laws and regulations on a one-on-one basis and relying on a court ruling to win your case. In addition, while nullification can be easily reversed with new legislation or executive orders, it would be more difficult for the State to overrule autonomy, assuming the autonomous legislation is constructed properly.

There is currently a bill proposed by Assemblyman David DiPietro and supported by several New York State Senators and Assemblymen that would split New York State into three Autonomous Zones: New York City, Long Island, and the rest of the state.

New states and state lines have been relocated many times in American history because it just takes a simple majority approval in both the relevant state and both houses of Congress.

On December 16, 1786, it was agreed the Greater Western New York Region would fall under the jurisdiction of New York State. For various practical reasons, this notion is now outdated. It makes no sense as the Greater Western New York Region has evolved in a manner that makes its priorities significantly and materially different from the original state. For this reason, many feel it is time to make Greater Western New York a new and independent state.

The idea of statehood is different from creating an autonomous zone because it reflects a more permanent solution to the problem of virtual disenfranchisement of Greater Western New York Citizens that has been growing now for several generations.

There is currently a bill proposed by Assemblyman Stephen Hawley that would place a question on the ballot asking for a simple up or down vote on the idea of splitting New York State into two separate states.

      1. To free us from the political corruption and self-dealing of Albany
      2. To restructure how a state government is supposed to be run by eliminating career politicians.
      3. To preserve traditional American values that have made the USA free and great
      4. To ensure laws reflect the values of those who live in Greater Western New York and not those who live in the New York City metro area. Too many of our lawmakers have abdicated their responsibility of passing laws by handing that authority over to unelected bureaucrats who, too often, reside in New York City.
      5. To preserve the entrepreneurial spirit of free Americans.
      6. Economically Greater Western New York is distinctly different than the New York City metro area. Independence would preserve a market economy which is open and free
      7. Greater Western New York has a distinctly different culture than the metro New York City area. Independence would preserve that culture.
      8. To make the votes of the citizens of Greater Western New York count again!
      9. An independent Greater Western New York benefits the 17 western-most counties. Each resident in the 17 western-most counties will have a greater say in how they live their lives, run their businesses, and bring up their children. Because they can now align state regulars to their community’s unique priorities, it’s likely state taxes can be reduced. For individuals, it means more take-home money and a reduced cost of living. For businesses, it means the opportunity to grow faster and larger. For parents, it means more jobs so your kids don’t have to move away.
      10. An independent Greater Western New York benefits the counties east of the Greater Western New York Region. Currently, residents of the counties covering the original extent of the colony of New York must generate a surplus of tax revenue to cover the cost of subsidizing the Greater Western New York Region. When Greater Western New York becomes a new state, there will no longer be a need to subsidize it. Residents in those original counties would be free to decide to lower their taxes or redirect that tax money to projects that would have otherwise been too difficult to take on with the onus of supporting the Greater Western New York Region.

We need your Help to Make
Greater Western New York

This is the site for citizens of the 17 western counties in New York State that historically make up the GreaterWestern New York region, a region recognized by the New York State Department of Health, the New York Press Association, and other groups. These include the counties of: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.

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