State Sen. Daphne Jordan, a Republican from Halfmoon, is offering hope to all her constituents who have dreamed of coming from their own state of Upstate and leaving all that downstate glitz behind.
Who needs an ocean coastline anyway? Let those city slickers have the beaches and the ports. We’ve got Mount Marcy! We’ve got the Canadian border!
Jordan has introduced a bill to create a working group that would study splitting the state in two — the good part, with great stuff like Michigans and jack wax; and that other part where people heap sauerkraut on their hot dogs instead of sweet spoonfuls of meat sauce.
But seriously, if Jordan’s little act of political grandstanding ever resulted in an actual split — and there is zero chance of that happening — it would bankrupt upstate.
New York City has the largest municipal and regional economy in the country, and upstate benefits from that in many ways — most directly from state funding. Although you often hear complaints around here about the city receiving more than its share, the truth is the New York City area contributes significantly more in taxes than it gets back in state funds. That means if the state were split, our area would immediately be in even worse financial shape than it is now.
With deepening political, economic and cultural divisions in the two regions, Sen. Daphne Jordan believes it is time for a thorough study of w…
And when it comes to culture, don’t we have the best of both worlds here in New York? It’s the union of Big Apple and apple orchards that makes this New York one of the world’s great places.
New York City is a national and international center for art, fashion and finance; home of Broadway, the United Nations and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a tourist draw for millions of visitors every year and the financial engine of the world’s richest country.
All of that downstate greatness doesn’t matter to Jordan, however.
What matters to her is that those people in the state’s southern regions — New York City’s boroughs, Long Island and Rockland and Westchester counties — are different. Essentially, they’re Democrats.
Of course, they’re not all Democrats; many of them are Republicans, but never mind. Jordan is fixated on the differences between New Yorkers. She calls it a “tale of two states,” but it’s really a tale of two outlooks.
You can see New York as divided, because part of it is a densely populated urban area and part of it is a more sparsely populated rural area; or you can see it as outstanding, because it contains one of the world’s most dynamic cities and one of its most awe-inspiring wilderness areas and a whole lot else besides.
We have the skyscraping buildings and the cloud-wreathed mountains; broad beaches pounded by surf and remote lakes that lie still and frozen for half the year.
We’ve got the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls! Fort Ticonderoga and the Brooklyn Bridge! Wine and cheese! Oysters and cows!
For a state to be split, its Legislature and the U.S. Congress must approve the measure. The last time that happened was in 1863, when West Virginia was split off from Virginia. Numerous state-splitting efforts have been pushed since then, including multiple efforts in New York, but none has gotten close to approval.
It’s not a new idea, and it’s not a good idea. We wish Daphne Jordan would find something more constructive to do with her time, like promoting all the wonderful aspects of upstate that contribute to making New York great.