Speak up, citizens: SUNY Broome to host the Public Voice on Aug. 9

SUNY Broome’s Center for Civic Engagement, the History, Philosophy and Social Sciences Department and the Student Assembly are sponsoring the Public Voice, an opportunity for Broome County residents to have their voices heard, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, in the SUNY Broome Dining Hall, located in the Student Center on campus.

The event is intended to provide Broome County citizens with a civil venue where they can make their voices heard regarding the issues of the day.

Citizens will have the opportunity to speak for up to 3 minutes on a political issue they feel is of great importance. The issue should be one that is the result of a Presidential executive order; a proposed federal bill or passed federal law; a proposed 2018 federal budget item; a foreign policy issue; or a directive from any federal government department since Jan. 20.

The ground rules for the event are as follows:

  • Our two federal Senators, Congressperson, our three local New York State Senate and Assembly members, the Broome County Executive and the Republican leader of the county legislature, or their designees, have been invited to the session to listen to what citizens have to say. The elected officials cannot speak during this event, nor can any of the audience address them.
  • People wishing to speak should put their name on a card along with their issue and give it to an event person upon entering the cafeteria.
  • The moderator will try to ensure that a broad cross-section of issues will be heard.
  • Citizens who wish to speak are encouraged to avoid personal attacks on any individual, but instead concentrate on an issue that they feel strongly about, whether in support or criticism. Citizens can also leave the moderator a copy of their comments whether they choose to formally speak or not.
  • The event will be videotapes and a copy will be given to each elected official.
  • No posters, banners or the like will be permitted in the cafeteria.
  • The audience is encouraged to allow each citizen to make their presentation and save any applause for the end.
  • Citizens who cannot attend this event may email their comments to Lisa Strahley, coordinator for civic engagement, at strahleyla@sunybroome.edu.
  • The callable will collaborate with the Press & Sun-Bulletin to stream the event live.

Future Public Voice events are planned for the future, at the college or in other public venues such as senior centers, libraries and municipal meeting rooms. Any questions about this event may be addressed to Lisa Strahley at strahleyla@sunybroome.edu or Doug Garnar at garnardc@sunybroome.edu.