Currently, there are various groups calling for upstate secession, with various amounts of cohesion. Upstate New Yorkers claim that they have been adversely affected by policies created by New York City politicians, causing them economic and social hardship. The biggest actors currently are State Senator Joseph Robach, State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, NewAmsterdamny.com, and various social media groups.
While the upstate New York secessionist movement is not based on ethnic identity, upstate New Yorkers share a cultural identity based on shared history as well as political, economic, and demographic factors. Upstate New Yorkers generally also share political and economic interests, which provides both cultural unity within upstate as well as significant reasons to break away from downstate. Upstate tends to be a blend of conservatives and moderate liberals. Also, Upstate New Yorkers share certain economic concerns, such as the loss of manufacturing jobs and the flight of businesses that once were central to upstate New York’s economy. Upstate New Yorkers in favor of secession believe that NYC, which is more liberal and has economic interests that are quite distinct from those of upstate, has too much influence in Albany. They argue that this negatively affects upstate, particularly by pushing a more liberal agenda and passing regulations that are driving business out of upstate, resulting in decreasing economic opportunity and freedom. The strategy of upstate New York secessionists is mainly based around either a state-wide non-binding referendum on secession, or amending the NYS Constitution at the potential 2019 Constitutional Convention.
We humbly thank our professors from COPLACDigital Dr. Matthews and Dr. Owens, our advisor Dr. David Levy, Assemblyman Hawley, and Senator Robach for their guidance and information.