Advocacy Report: October 2013 from Mike Neppl, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy
This is the first regular legislative update I will provide to the NYLA membership throughout the year. First, I would like to thank everyone for the advice, counsel and warmth I have received while getting acclimated to the library community. Like everyone who attended, I left the annual conference armed with great new ideas and I am excited for what will be a busy and productive 2014 legislative session.
NYLA, led by the Legislative Committee, is currently finalizing a legislative agenda for the upcoming year. The most critical agenda item will again be to secure adequate library aid. In the past, NYLA’s budget strategy has been to analyze the Governor’s Executive Budget and then influence each house to retain the funding provided by the Governor and restore funding cut in previous years. Going forward, I have devised a year-long, multi-session strategy to get ahead of the process and present our budget priorities not only to individual legislators, but to the Executive Branch in a manner consistent with achieving their education policy goals. Through this approach, not only will we have a better opportunity to realize our funding goals, but all of NYLA’s legislative priorities.
Essential to this agenda is creating library advocates within government and activating our existing advocates throughout New York’s libraries. In a world of competing priorities and limited resources, policymakers act most easily when moved by constituents. Efforts to influence your local State Senator and Assemblyperson are vital to our shared success. Please do not hesitate to contact me if local events provide an opportunity for NYLA staff to create, support and amplify advocacy opportunities.
See you all on February 27th, 2014 for Advocacy Day in Albany!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me.