Students Inside Albany Conference (SIA) & Local League Youth Programs
The League of Women Voters of New York State believes that a vital democracy requires educating, empowering, and engaging young people to maintain the democracy. Through the League’s Education Foundation, the State League and many local Leagues operate programs that provide students with the information, motivation, and skills to become informed voters and engaged citizens. The State League’s primary youth program is Students Inside Albany. Email the State League office for more information on any of these programs.
This Conference is an intensive four day training experience held in the spring and is designed to immerse students in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in New York State and educate them as to how they can influence and affect this process. Albany insiders discuss the operations of New York State government including how policy is shaped and enacted. Students develop knowledge of the disparate forces that influence policy development. Additionally, students are afforded the opportunity to observe Assembly and Senate sessions and to shadow both their Assembly members and Senators.
SIA continues to expand and has the greatest involvement by different leagues throughout the state. The LWVNYS provides not only the administration of this program, the materials that leagues can use to find the students to represent the league, but also pays for the entire cost of the four day program for one student from each league with the exclusion of the trip to and from Albany. If any local league wishes to send a 2nd student, there is a cost of approximately $650.00 to cover the expense. Many leagues have used their other youth programs (names, descriptions of these programs, and contact people appear on this site) as a way to identify students to represent them in Albany. Leagues like the LWVNYC have given extra recognition to their representatives.
***2020 STUDENT INSIDE ALBANY CONFERENCE (SIA) – CANCELLED
LWV of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties MAL Unit
Contact info: Margie McIntosh
The newly formed LWV of Cattaraugus and Allegany MAL Unit began a FIRST VOTE high school visitation program in late spring of 2018. We had three main goals: 1, to establish awareness of LWVCA and permission to visit each high school to assist in voter registration efforts; 2, to raise registration rates and student awareness/participation; and 3, to find a way to make a serious subject interactive and fun. Mission accomplished on all three goals.
In coordination with the principals of our county’s elementary schools, we provide children in K-5 classes large colored cards (Take Me to Vote) to be signed by election inspectors when the children come with their parents or another adult to a polling place on election day. In each school, the classroom that returns the highest percentage of signed cards wins a pizza party at our expense. The purpose, clearly, is to have teachers explain why voting is important and to get children to nag their parents to go vote.
LWV of Huntington
Contact Info: Judie Gorenstein
Youth Engaging Youth is a program LWV of Huntington put together when we were asked to do a program for high school students at Cold Spring Harbor Library.
LWV of the Hamptons
Contact Info: Judi Roth
The LWVH learned that the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York had established a new “suffrage patch.” The Scouts produced a several page description of things each level of Girl Scout would have to do to earn this patch – the levels include Daisies, Brownies and Scouts.
LWV of Smithtown
Contact info: Lisa Scott
Students from Cold Spring Harbor, Walt Whitman, Brentwood and North Babylon High participate at Student Day at the Suffolk County Legislature in May. Suffolk County Legislature and the LWV cosponsor this program where students learn about their county government, meet some Suffolk County legislators as well as the Presiding Officer and participate in a mock county board meeting where they discuss and vote on a bill.
LWV of Rivertowns
Contact info: Lynn Levine
Person running for office held a discussion on “What it is like to campaign.”
Contact info: Judie Gorenstein
Next-Generation Politics is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and movement dedicated to fostering a culture of cross-partisanship and engaging Generation Z in government. Members debate, discuss, and deliberate the issues, form genuine opinions, and voice those opinions to their representatives….A youth group founded and run by students. Group has grown to OVER 50 CHAPTERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY and is in process of merging with another organization. The group began in Huntington and WE cosponsored their first events!
LWV North Country
Contact info: Betsy Metz
In 2017, LWV of the North Country partnered with BOCES technical school (CVTEC) to host Citizenship and Political Activism (CAPA) symposium for selected high school students. Each school in Clinton and Essex County was invited to send three students and one government teacher. By partnering we were able to hold the event at the CVTEC campus on a school day. All participating schools provided transportation.
This is a one-day workshop for girls from local high schools to encourage them to consider a political career. Women public officials make brief presentations and then are each interviewed by a group of students who design and present their own political campaign for a virtual woman candidate. Many girls who have never considered political careers leave feeling they can do and be anything they want and will consider public service.
LWV of Putnam County
Contact info: Eileen Reilly
A fun, interactive 45-minute program that helps new and prospective voters understand the value of their vote, encourages them to register, go to the polls and get involved in their communities. Vote 18 takes the form of a fun, fast paced interactive game. It covers the history of voting, explains how that is relevant to the lives we are living today.
LWV of Chautauqua
Contact info: MindaRae Amiran