CRREO at SUNY New Paltz

Research for the Citizens' Committee for an Effective Constitution as well as coordination of the Scholarship Essay Contest was provided by the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz under the direction of Professor Gerald Benjamin, a well-known scholar in the field of New York state and local government studies and a former Research Director for the State Commission on Constitutional Revision.

Independently and in collaboration with local governments, business and not-for-profits across the Hudson Valley, CRREO conducts independent research on topics of regional interest; brings visibility and focus to these matters; fosters communities working together to better serve the citizenry; and seeks to advance public interest in our region.  The idea is to apply research to foster the best and most efficient practices, and hold government accountable.

Gerald Benjamin Photograph Gerald Benjamin, CRREO Director and Associate VP for Regional Engagement, offers an unusual combination of academic and applied experience. A leading  expert on New York State and local government, he has written or edited 14 books and government reports, and numerous articles and essays. Benjamin’s public service includes twelve years as an Ulster County legislator (the final two as the legislature’s chair and chief elected officer), chairman of the Commission  that developed and achieved adoption of Ulster County’s first charter, staff director for the State Constitutional Revision Commission and membership on the  State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness.

Benjamin was director of the Center for the New York State and Local Government Studies at SUNY's Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany (1993-1995). Later he was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as Research Director of the Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision. He also was Principal Research Advisor to the New York City Charter Revision Commission that brought about extensive structural changes in that city's government.



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