Jan. 18 Public Voice: What should local and state legislative priorities be in 2018?

American flagJoin SUNY Broome’s Center for Civic Engagement, its History, Philosophy and Social Sciences Department, and the Student Assembly for another edition of the Public Voice from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in Decker Health Sciences Building Room 201.

The First Amendment lists five key freedoms, and among them are the right of a free press and the right to petition the government.  During this event, citizens are invited to express what they believe the New York State Legislature and Broome County government’s top three issues/budget priorities should be in 2018.

State Sen. Fred Akshar, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Assemblyman Cliff Crouch; County Executive Jason Garnar; the chair of the Broome County Legislature Chair Daniel J. Reynolds and Legislative minority leader Mark Whalen have been asked to provide their top three issues, and they will be available at the event. Elected officials or their designees are invited to attend, but they will not actively participate; this is a “listening” event for them. Likewise, citizens shouldn’t try to engage the elected officials, but rather give their views on what they should consider as top legislative priorities. In past such Public Voice events, elected officials who attended have been willing to talk with citizens both before and after the event.

The event has the following ground rules:

  • Citizens wishing to speak will be given a card to put their name on and they will be allowed to speak (in numbered order) for up to two minutes on their top three issues. Citizens may read from prepared comments and they are encouraged to  give copies of their comments to the moderator at the end of the event.
  • Citizens speaking should exercise good civic decorum (no personal attacks on elected officials).
  • No posters or signs of promotional material will be permitted in the lecture hall. Tables outside the room will be available for any promotional material a citizen might wish to bring.
  • Citizen who cannot make the event may email Lisa Strahley (strahleyla@sunybroome.edu) with their comments and they will be included in the formal record of the event.
  • A video of those speaking will be given to each elected official as well as the Press & Sun Bulletin. Other media can request a copy and the College will put a copy of its website.
  • Lisa Strahley, coordinator for the college’s Center for Civic Engagement will be the moderator

The Center for Civic Engagement has sponsored a number of Public Voice events over the past few years and it will continue to offer more such opportunities.  We encourage both citizens and elected officials to provide us with ideas for future Public Voices. Any questions about this event should directed to Lisa Strahley (strahleyla@sunybroome.edu) or Doug Garnar (garnardc@sunybroome.edu).