Another Successful Year of Advocacy
As told by APP volunteers
Committee Volunteer Sarah Sasaki Tsien
Since joining the Advocates for Public Policy (APP) committee, I’ve made great friends who share my passion for making New York City and New York State a better place for everyone who lives and works here, said APP volunteer Sarah Sasaki Tsien. APP is comprised of a small, but remarkable group of accomplished women whose careers span the spectrum of nonprofit, government, finance, science, media, and design. In my first year, I joined the City Advocacy subcommittee where we connected with experts like Dianne Heggie, Senior Director of Child Welfare Policy and Practice for the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) to educate ourselves about the challenges facing youth aging out of foster care and to see how the NYJL could support ongoing efforts for this underserved community. Other volunteers raised awareness regarding the political and scientific issues surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms through a VTL exploring food labeling in the modern world. Last but not least, our annual Albany Lobby Day to advocate in support of Paid Family Leave was also memorable, especially because it helped push the passing of the bill over the finish line a few weeks later!
Committee member Leah Branch
According to APP volunteer, Leah Branch, “APP’s work is never done.” With the NYJL calendar quickly coming to a close, APP is turning its attention to next year. Whether it’s brainstorming new ideas or surveying NYJL volunteers to identify the issues that matter most to the volunteers, APP is already focusing on what can be done in the upcoming year. It is with enthusiasm that APP looks forward to the work ahead and we hope many others will get involved!
Incoming APP Co-Chair RyAnn McKay Hooper
I have served on this committee for three years and I am filled with pride for the work we do and the great women who serve on this committee. During my first two years on the committee, APP championed the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (“TVPJA”) through our state advocacy efforts. The TVPJA expanded penalties for labor and sex trafficking offenders in the state of New York, and increased the protections provided to victims of the sex trafficking. After four years of advocacy for the TVPJA, the bill passed in the spring of 2015, and APP was there in full force to celebrate this important victory.
The issues we tackle on our committee can feel intimidating; however, participation in this committee does not require a vast knowledge of the legislative or political process. All that is required is a desire to learn, research, organize (and a desire to step outside of your comfort zone a bit never hurts!). Education, empowerment, and advancing issues that serve New York families, youth, and women are at the heart of everything APP does. To this end, we educate committee members on the advocacy topics we put forth through invited speakers, articles, and partnerships with NYJL community partners and committees. We are effective advocates when we master the topics we are presenting!
To learn more or to get involved, please email Advocates for Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org.