Junior League of Northern Westchester - We Build Women who Build our Community

Advocacy Panel and Tips

This past year chairs of advocacy, training and intergenerational networking coordinated their efforts to present an Advocacy Panel on March 27, 2009 to discuss effective advocacy at the count and state levels. Moderated by sustaining member, past president and newly elected supervisor of the Town of Ossining, Catherine Borgia, led a panel of experts in a discussion of effective advocacy highlighting current legislative efforts for intergenerational issues. Panel members included:

  • New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (90th District) – a past president of the Junior League on the Hudson and also a former chair of their advocacy efforts.  Click here to see a video of Sandy Galef.
  • County Legislator Peter Harckham (2nd District) – a member of the JLNW Community Advisory Council and our District Legislator.
  • Kerry Ryan, co-chair of NYSPAC (NY State Public Affairs Committee for Junior Leagues).
  • Kevin Brabazon, President of NYSIgN (NY State Intergenerational Network)

Advocacy Tips

  • Keys to effective lobbying of Legislators:
    • Be informed
    • Be concise
    • Be persistent
    • Humanize an issue by creating a “live” situation with representative speakers
    • Set-up appointments to meet with Legislators in the Fall when they are not in session.
  • Invite Legislators to a legislative breakfast presentations by the JL
  • Emails are most effective and immediate in today’s IT world. Need to send follow-up emails to legislators. Can have Junior Leaguers send copies of emails to Albany.
  • 20 emails help build critical mass
  • Can often get Assembly and Senate Legislators to co-sponsor bills when they have overlapping voting districts. Needs of constituents will be similar.
  • Research is KEY. Identify the Problem. Identify where legislation has been successful in other districts, counties and states. Know the key players in legislation. Have legislation be more meaningful to meet the needs of the community
  • Work with other community organizations and create partnerships to support legislation you are promoting.