NYSPAC Welcomes NYJL volunteer Samantha Santaniello to Board of Directors
The Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the communities in which it exists. Each Junior League in the state of New York has a single volunteer or a committee dedicated to public policy work. The New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues of New York (NYSPAC) is made up of the 17 Junior Leagues and represents more than 8,000 voting women in New York.
NYSPAC is responsible for educating individual leagues on issues selected for advocacy action and facilitates communication among neighboring Junior Leagues on public affairs work by providing training in advocacy skills and strategy, and acts as the representative body of the member leagues at the state and national level.
NYSPAC focuses on public policy impacting women and health as well as children and families. Recent advocacy efforts have centered upon human trafficking, paid family leave, and pay equity legislation. We advocated for Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act from 2012-2015 and the legislation passed in both the NYS Senate and Assembly in 2015. Advocacy efforts for Paid Family Leave Act began in 2014. This specific piece provided worker’s compensation benefits for employees that were injured, sick, pregnant or required family leave for another reason.
This year, NYSPAC voted on Pay Equity legislation. This is a hot-button topic as strong legislation was recently passed at the New York City level and the NYJL Advocates for Public Policy committee traveled to Albany on May 2nd to advocate for this issue. Since the NYC bill’s introduction, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order that bars the practice of asking for salary history for public sector hires and our goal is to get more comprehensive legislation that protects private sector workers as well.
With all of this great work in progress, we are excited to announce that one of our NYJL volunteers, Samantha Santaniello, was elected to the board of NYSPAC. In her role as legislative coordinator, Samantha serves as the main liaison between NYSPAC and Albany legislative members and staff. She is responsible for legislator outreach for Lobby Day and remains knowledgeable and abreast of any political developments and issues that may affect Lobby Day.
Samantha has been on the Advocates for Public Policy committee since she was a provisional member of the Junior League serving as Vice-Chair of State Affairs for the last two years. She is excited for this opportunity to get even more involved in the public policy arena for NYSPAC.