The Advocacy Institute is hosting a summer series on the fundamentals of legislative advocacy, with a special focus on Hudson Valley and Western New York. The sessions are a chance for you, your members and your coalition to learn how to strategically develop a legislative or budget campaign, identify the key players you need to get on your side to move it forward, and navigate the state legislative and budget processes. The final two dates will focus on issues and the advocacy landscape in Hudson Valley and Western New York, and will feature guest speakers from these regions. Throughout, we’ll provide opportunities for participants from different regions to connect with each other – a crucial part of any successful statewide campaign.

Session 1: Setting the Stage

In this session, we review the differences between advocacy and lobbying and discuss strategic considerations as you begin to build out your campaign.

Session 2: Who’s Who New York State

In this session, we review the key players in the New York State government.

Session 3: Legislative & Budget Process

In this session, we review the processes to get a bill passed or a budget demand met at the state level. We also dive into strategies to develop relationships with your targets for state-level advocacy.

Session 4: Advocacy in Western New York

We dive into the dynamics of state-level legislators from Western New York, and regional expert Partnership for the Public Good shares critical context about the Erie County Legislature, Buffalo Common Council, and local party politics. Throughout, guest speakers from the New York Immigration Coalition and Clean Air Coalition of Western New York share their perspectives on how to get things done, and what to watch out for, in Western New York.

Session 5: Advocacy in the Hudson Valley

We talk to Juanita Lewis, incoming Executive Director of Community Voices Heard, and Alisha Kohn, Director for the Queers for Justice committee at the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center, about their experiences building impactful campaigns in the Hudson Valley. They discuss how they’ve worked with community members to identify advocacy priorities, what it’s like to engage with state-level representatives from the Hudson Valley, and the critical importance of regional, intersectional organizing.