NYSPAC 2018/2019

WHAT IS NYSPAC + ADVOCACY 101

NYSPAC: WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO

  • Comprised of 17 Junior Leagues, representing more than 7,500 women across New York state.
  • NYSPAC takes action on select state and national issues that support its focus areas:
    • Women & Health
    • Children & Families
  • NYSPAC educates League members on issues selected for support, facilitates communication among the member leagues, provides training in advocacy skills and strategies, and acts as the representative body of the member Leagues at the state and national level.
  • Recent advocacy efforts include:
    • Securing healthier food and beverage options for children in NY schools
    • Improving the lives of victims of domestic violence
    • Addressing foster care issues for “ageing out” youth
    • Securing anti-human trafficking initiatives and related bills
    • Paid Family Leave

NYSPAC: MEMBER LEAGUES

  • Junior League of Binghamton
  • Junior League of Brooklyn
  • Junior League of Buffalo
  • Junior League of Central Westchester
  • Junior League of Kingston
  • Junior League of Long Island
  • Junior League of New York City
  • Junior League of Northern Westchester
  • Junior League of Orange County
  • Junior League of Pelham
  • Junior League of Poughkeepsie
  • Junior League of Rochester
  • Junior League of Schenectady & Saratoga Counties
  • Junior League of Syracuse
  • Junior League of Troy
  • Junior League of Westchester-on-the-Hudson
  • Junior League of Westchester on the Sound

what is advocacy

agenda

  • Definition: Junior League Advocacy
  • How and Why NYSPAC Advocates
  • Overview of NY State Structure
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • NY State Government Timeline
  • NYSPAC Legislative Wins
  • Bringing Advocacy to your Local League

WHY JUNIOR LEAGUE’S ADVOCATE

“Advocacy demonstrates the belief that democracy works – that your voice can make a difference. When Junior League volunteers advocate on the behalf of the women and children that we serve, we not only give that community a voice, but a vibrant, passionate and articulate voice.”

  • Saundra Smith, Past Communications Vice President, New York Junior League

WHAT IS JUNIOR LEAGUE ADVOCACY

  • INFORMATION SHARING
    • Providing information about NYSPAC and JL mission and supported programs
  • LOBBYING
    • Asking a legislator to take a specific action regarding a piece of legislation
  • NO POLITICAL ACTIVITY
    • Not working for or against the election of a candidate or party

information sharing

  • Building relationships and keeping your elected officials and other organizations aware of the good work NYSPAC and your individual League are doing in your community
  • Should be continuous and form a basis of relationship-building with legislative offices and elected officials
  • Examples include: conducting educational meetings; preparing and distributing educational materials; or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner

lobbying

  • Examples of legislative accolades from Junior League advocacy:
    • “Senator Smith, we want you to support new guidelines for healthier school lunches.”
    • “Assemblywoman Jones, please vote yes on bill A.1234.”
  • Junior Leagues are 501(c)(3) organizations, which are limited in the amount of lobbying they can do. This must be balanced against the importance of having an on-the-ground impact that provides a voice to our direct service volunteerism with our community partners.

no political activity

  • 501(c)(3) organizations like the Junior League are prohibited from endorsing, contributing to, working for, or otherwise supporting (or opposing) a candidate for public office

NYSPAC ADVOCACY: WHAT, HOW?

  • WHAT
    • Serves as the body that researches, vets, selects and sets NYSPAC’s annual legislative advocacy agenda
    • Ensures that the annual legislative advocacy agenda is in line with NYSPAC Member League priorities
    • AJLI focus areas also assessed to determine potential synergy (human trafficking)
  • HOW
    • NYSPAC looks to Member Leagues and their community partners, State-wide community organizations, Legislators and Government agencies for ideas on which legislation to publicly support each year
    • NYSPAC typically supports at least one to two bills each year, developing position statements for each bill that is approved by each member League and directly lobbying elected officials for their support during Advocacy Day

NYSPAC ADVOCACY: tools

  • PARTNERSHIPS
    • Teaming up with like-minded coalitions,
      grass roots organizations and advocacy groups
  • ADVOCACY DAY - SPRING CONFERENCE
    • Media placement and press conference
    • State-wide representation
    • Power of one voice at legislative meetings
  • JL COMMUNITY ACTION
    • Issue forums
    • Relationship building
    • Postcard and letter writing campaigns

NY STATE STRUCTURE

how a bill becomes a law

IDEA

Starting point in the process - the first point at which the citizen has a chance to have a say in the writing or rewriting of law.

DRAFTING

Put idea into bill form - usually done by the staff of the Legislative Bill Drafting Commission.

BILL

Bills can be introduced only by legislators or by standing committees of the Senate and Assembly.

COMMITTEE

Comprised of specialists who are members of Standing Committees who evaluate bills and decide whether to "report" them (send them) to the Senate floor for a final decision by the full membership.

PASSAGE

After explanation, discussion or debate, a vote is taken. If a majority of the Senators approves, the bill is sent to the Assembly. If bill is approved in the Assembly without amendment, it goes on to the Governor. The reverse procedure is followed if the Assembly first passes a bill. Governor has 10 days (not counting Sundays) to sign or veto bills passed by both houses

new york state government timeline

(VIEW IN PRESENTATION MODE)

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May.

Jun.

Aug.

Jul.

Executive

Budget Making

Summer!

Start of Fiscal Year

Enacted Budget Due: April 1st

State of the State Speech

Executive Budget

Legislative Session (mid Jan.-late June)

Elections

Legislative Committee Hearings

Budget Negotiations

21-Day Amendments

1-house budgets

Governor signs or vetoes program bills (continues through September)

Program Bills

Final Position Statements Sent to NYSPAC Leagues for Approval

NYSPAC Leagues Begin Issues Research (Connect with community partners on key issues)

Task Force Chairs lead Fall Conference prep to educate delegates on issues research and how to present an issue at Fall Conference

NYSPAC Fall Conference (10/20) - Delegates Vote to Select 2012 – 2013 Advocacy Agenda

Election Day (11/5); Task Forces Begin In-Depth Issues Research

New York State Legislature’s 2013 Legislative Session Opens

Task Forces Reach Out to Legislators; Identify Bills that Fit with NYSPAC Advocacy Agenda

Task Forces Begin Scheduling Legislative Appointments for Advocacy Day

Follow-up Letters Sent to Legislators

2013 Legislative Session Ends

Task Forces Finalize Talking Points and Legislative Appointment Schedule

Task Forces Continue Issues Research & Community Outreach on NYSPAC Advocacy Agenda

Task Forces Begin Drafting Position Statement(s)

NYSPAC Spring Conference & Advocacy Day (TBD)

NYSPAC Concludes Advocacy 2012-13

Feb

Mar

Apr

Jun

Sept

Dec

Nov

Oct

Jan

Task Forces Reconvene on Advocacy Agenda (review action items from Legislative appointments and discuss next steps needed on advocacy outreach)

Legislators Introduce New Legislation; Committee Agendas Set

Task Forces Finalize Position Statements; Draft Key Talking Points

May

NYSPAC Timeline

this is why we do it

“Democracy is cumbersome, slow and inefficient, but in due time, the voice of the people will be heard and their latent wisdom will prevail”
- Thomas Carlyle, Victorian-era Scottish satirist

BRINGING ADVOCACY TO YOUR LEAGUE

  • BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
    • Contact like-minded organizations and ask for letters of support – and offer your support to them
  • EDUCATE
    • Invite guest speakers to your GMMs
    • Present NYSPAC advocacy agenda at your GMM
  • ADVOCATE
    • Meet with local and state legislators in your town
    • Letter-writing and postcard campaigns
    • Author “letters to the editor” and send to local publications

CONSTANT CONTACT WITH LEGISLATORS

  • Face-to-face Meetings
    • Local district office
    • Townhall meetings, open forums
    • Fundraisers or events where legislators are present
  • Written And Phone Campaigns
    • Formal letters
    • Postcards
    • Emails
    • Phone calls
  • Media Presence
    • Letters to the Editor
    • Op-Ed pieces
    • Coverage of program events (e.g., community service activities, awards ceremonies, etc.
  • Visits to Your Program
    • Invite legislator to witness or participate in program/event

A last thought

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!”
- Margaret Mead, Anthropologist



ADVOCACY 101 - Google Slides