NYSPA's 2019 Lobby Day
Monday, May 13, 2019
Once again we had a wonderful Lobby Day! We had approximately 20 members participating this year. We met with various NYS Legislators and/or their staff members and presented our priority bills expressing either our support or opposition to each of them. Some staff members were familiar with our bills while others were hearing about some of them for the first time. They all appreciated our informative explanations to our positions and for the packet they received from us with information about our priority bills and our positions. They also appreciate another copy of our Opioid White paper and our booklet of how to deal with distress constituents. At the end of the day there is always a sense of satisfaction that we did good to our discipline and to the people we serve. Below please find some impressions from some of our participant.
"Lobby Day was always this event that I could not quite fully conceptualize. I knew it was an important day to help support psychology as a field, but I did not entirely grasp how the power to effect change and to ensure stability actually falls within our hands as the general NYSPA membership. Having attended Lobby Day for the first time this year, I came to realize the impact we psychologists make and how the responsibility to do so truly relies upon us. You don't have to be a political genius who understands the ins and outs of these policies and bills; you just have to want to protect this profession and to help those who have a direct influence on the legal side of things to see and understand what we do and why we deserve to be carefully considered when legislature that could impact us is up for vote (and boy was it scary to learn how many proposed bills are out there that could quickly hurt our field!). After this experience, I hope to be able to attend Lobby Day every year and absolutely plan to assist NYSPA with educating and encouraging other New York state psychologists to see that if we want to see things happen for our field, it is truly up to us - there really is no one else out there at the Capital fighting for what we want and need." - Michelle Woogen
“Lobby Day was fun! I got to hang out with friends, from across the state. We met with some awesome legislators who CHOSE to run for office so that they could serve the citizens of their neighborhoods, towns and regions. The NYSPA advocacy leadership was organized, informed and ready. The group got a briefing on our talking points. We broke out into small groups. We were handed a prepared schedule of eight or so meet ups with individual law makers, each about thirty minutes long. Long enough to voice our concerns and hear theirs; short enough to not go into a coma.”
“I believe deeply in the profession of Psychology and all the unique applied roles psychologists fill academically, in research, in the workplace and clinically. Participating in Lobby Day makes me very proud. I see it as an opportunity to educate key public leaders in all that psychology does for the citizens of New York and to be perfectly honest, to brag a little.” - Elvira Aletta
“Lobby Day was NYSPA at its finest! We established new contacts with our legislators, and furthered our relationships with existing contacts. Legislators noted that they appreciate knowing about us as a resource. Not only did we excel at relationship building, we also got some firm commitments on sponsorship for our bills!” - Jeanette Sawyer-Cohen
“It is a privilege to participate in such a unifying and positive NYSPA function, especially to get a chance to catch up, and work together once again, with friends from across NYS.” - Mark Grey
“Lobby day was such a powerful experience. It was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues as well as showcase what our profession has to offer. The legislators were receptive and interested in our ideas which bodes well for the legislation we support and oppose but also bodes well for our profession.” - Deborah De Santis-Moniaci
Last but not least, our own Virginia Waters stated, “My musings on Lobby Day took the form of a haiku.” Here it is:
Lobby Day Haiku
NYSPA’s Lobby Day
Calls us to unite and serve
As a voice for all.
Like fireflies we
Gather to light the way for
Seeds to be planted
Advocacy and the growth
Join us and light the
Path to serve the public and
Grow our profession.
And with this I would like you to start saving the day for next year. Stay tuned!
Chair, Grassroots Sub-Committee