On Monday, May 8, 2017, about 40 Reform Jewish social justice advocates from around New York State gathered in Albany for RJV’s annual Albany Advocacy Day. These powerful leaders came together to articulate a vision for tzedek in the Empire State and to share that vision with their Assembly Members and Senators as well as New York State leadership. Check out photos of the event on RJV’s Facebook page. We began the day by hearing from Assemblywoman Pat Fahy from New York Assembly District 109 about the importance of faith-based advocacy as a tactic for solving some of New York’s most pressing issues. The Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Legislative Affairs for New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Kate M. Powers, also joined us to discuss the New York Votes Act and how important it is for every New Yorker to have access to the ballot box.
In the afternoon, we with the offices of 35 of New York State’s legislators on four priority issues:
- Our support for measures that curb the growing influence of money in politics, including stricter financial disclosure requirements, limits on donations, public campaign financing options and closing the LLC Loophole (S496/A1926), (S4803/A2266).
- Our opposition to the Education Affordability Act (S04366/A5862), which would harm public education and endanger church-state separation by essentially directing funds for public schools to private, parochial schools.
- Our support for the New York Votes Act (A5312), which would reform New York State election law to include early voting, automatic registration, online registration, and same day registration.
- Our support for the Reproductive Rights Health Act (S2796) and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (S3668), which would ensure a woman’s right and access to abortion and contraceptive care in the state of New York.
Our message was heard loud and clear in Albany, and it is important that legislators continue to hear our voices as the session draws to a close. If you were not able to attend Advocacy Day, take action today by contacting your Assembly Member and your Senator to lift your voice on all of our priority issues.
Finally, mark your calendars for next year’s advocacy opportunities: NFTY NAR Albany Advocacy Day will take place from March 11-12, 2018 and the date for RJVNYS Albany Advocacy Day will be announced shortly. We look forward to seeing you all there!