NEW YORK NURSE: January-February 2011
by Erin Silk
NYSNA’s governmental affairs team is gearing up for another productive lobby day this spring – revisiting a format designed to include more members in advocacy. In response to overwhelming attendance at last year’s annual Lobby Day, a separate, two-day lobbying event has been scheduled just for members to allow them to make the most of their legislative experience.
On March 14, members can choose to enjoy dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, participate in a brief workshop on lobbying techniques and network with colleagues. On March 15, members will meet with legislators and debrief with staff.
Members will still have the opportunity to attend the larger Lobby Day event scheduled for April 12, but the smaller format on March 14 will allow for more time for legislative meetings.
Last year’s annual Lobby Day set records when more than 2,000 nurses and nursing students turned out to advocate for the passing of the Violence Against Nurses bill, the Educational Advancement of Nurses bill, and other initiatives. “The event was extremely well-attended,” said Shaun Flynn, director of NYSNA’s Governmental Affairs. NYSNA’s numbers were so large, in fact, that word is out that when NYSNA schedules a Lobby Day, other prominent advocacy groups make certain to choose another day to bend the ear of lawmakers. “New York’s nurses are a force to be reckoned with and over the years, they have gained increased credibility with our state government,” said Flynn. “Nurses realize that if you are not at the table, you cannot have a voice in the debate.”
Lobby Day is free to attend, but members do need to register for one or both events. The deadlines are March 11 or April 1, respectively. Registration is online, via fax, or by mailing the completed registration form to NYSNA.
As in years past, the format for NYSNA’s annual Lobby Day on April 12 will begin with a short presentation of how a lobbying appointment works. Representatives from Malkin and Ross will be on hand to demonstrate the proper way to gain your legislator’s attention and make the most of your lobbying visit. After the presentation, groups will be guided to the Legislative Office Building to meet up with their legislators. These meetings are pre-arranged by the members attending them, although NYSNA is available to help in this process.
Whichever event you choose to attend, you’ll be speaking with one voice on behalf of New York’s nurses.
NYSNA staff and professional lobbyists will provide an overview of the current political climate in New York State. You will be briefed on legislative priorities for nurses and given practical tips for meeting with your legislator. Contact hours will be awarded.
Get the inside scoop on politics at the State Capitol and help the NYSNA Political Action Committee (PAC). Our speaker will offer a unique perspective on how nurses can have a voice in Albany. The cost for the hot buffet luncheon is $45. If you are not planning to attend the PAC event, enjoy lunch on your own at one of the fast-serve restaurants in the Plaza Concourse.
Debriefing sessions with NYSNA staff will be held throughout the afternoon.
NYSNA’s recent victory of the passing of the Violence Against Nurses Law is proof that persistent lobbying efforts do pay off. Attendees at Lobby Day 2011 may decide among NYSNA’s top legislative priorities to discuss with lawmakers: educational advancement for nurses, staffing ratios, workplace bullying or safe patient handling programs.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to affect nursing’s future! Watch for registration details and plan to make your voice heard on either March 15 or April 12. We look forward to advocating with you!