TAKE ACTION

NEW VOICES NEW YORK TOOLKIT
NEW VOICES ONE PAGERS
REACH OUT TO YOUR LEGISLATOR
1. FIND YOUR SENATOR AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER

Insert your address into the map above to to find your elected representative in both the Senate and the Assembly. Remember to write their contact information down.

2. SEND THEM AN EMAIL/POSTCARD

Use the templates above and contact your legislators. Make sure to personalize them with your own information before sending.

2. SEND THEM AN EMAIL/POSTCARD

Use the templates above and contact your legislators. Make sure to personalize them with your own information before sending.

NY STATE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS 101
1. BILL IS DRAFTED AND INTRODUCED
2. BILL GETS SENT TO COMMITTEE WHERE A HEARING IS HELD AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS VOTE
3. IF THE BILL PASSES THROUGH ITS ASSIGNED COMMITTEE, IT IS SENT TO THE ENTIRE CHAMBER FLOOR, WHERE THE ENTIRE HOUSE/SENATE VOTES
4. IF THE BILL PASSES, IT IS SENT TO THE OTHER CHAMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE WHERE THE BILL GOES THROUGH THE SAME COMMITTEE PROCESS
5. IF THE BILL PASSES BOTH CHAMBERS, IT IS SENT TO THE GOVERNOR
WHEN THE LEGISLATURE IS IN SESSION: THE GOVERNOR HAS 10 DAYS TO SIGN OR VETO THE BILL. IF THE GOVERNOR DOES NOT DO EITHER OF THOSE WITHIN THE 10 DAY WINDOW, THE BILL AUTOMATICALLY BECOMES A LAW
WHEN THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT IN SESSION: THE GOVERNOR HAS 30 DAYS TO SIGN OR VETO, AND FAILURE TO ACT RESULTS IN A VETO, NOT LAW
NEW VOICES NY TIMELINE
JAN. 2019
BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE
APRIL 2019
OVER 80 PEOPLE TRAVELED TO ALBANY FOR AN ADVOCACY DAY, WHERE ADVOCATES MET WITH LEGISLATORS AND HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE AND NEED FOR NEW VOICES IN NY
NOW
BILLS HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE EDUCATION COMMITTEES IN BOTH CHAMBERS, BUT HEARINGS HAVE NOT BEEN SCHEDULED
NEW VOICES NY STUDENT ADVOCACY DAY 2019
EXAMPLES OF CENSORSHIP IN NY STATE
FLUSHING HS 

In Flushing, NY, a story in Flushing High School’s newspaper quoted a sophomore saying he felt he
lacked good teachers — the principal said this was negative coverage and withheld the entire
edition from distribution.

  • In the end, the article was published by the New York Post instead.

  • The censorship of the entire publication shows the disproportionate power that administration currently holds over student publications.

COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND HS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

At the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, the principal pulled an
opinion article about the Middle East crisis. One student wrote from an Israeli perspective, a second student from the Palestinian view. The principal found the article unbalanced and told adviser Nancy Kaplan to cut it.

  • Untenured teachers who feel the need to accede to administrators wishes often feel powerless to stand up for their students.

  • “I was new and didn’t want to cause trouble,” said Ms. Kaplan, who is now a master teacher in East New York. "So I gave in."

FRANK SINATRA HS FOR THE ARTS 

At Frank Sinatra School of the Arts HS in Queens, an assistant principal edited 50 to 70 percent of each of the four issues of The Bennett, its newspaper, in the 2010-2011 school year.

  • From grammar to articles on school performances, the administrator reviewed everything before print and had the power to edit coverage to paint the school in a more positive light

YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SCHOOL OF ASTORIA

At the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, student Batoul Saleh printed the first article of a brand-new newspaper club’s first issue and taped it to the wall. The article highlighted concerns about the school’s student government group and student elections. Respectful discussion and
interest followed, but the principal tore down the article

  • Saleh’s parents were called in for a meeting, and the newspaper adviser said that either the adviser or principal needed to approve all editorial decisions for the newspaper.

  • Saleh was prohibited from participating in a school trip because she had ‘failed to uphold school values’ through her actions (citylimits.org)

WORLD JOURNALISM PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Students like Deborah Kosnar, at the World Journalism Preparatory School (Kosnar was then 16
years old, in 2011) reported internalizing administrators’ censorship: “Even though we aren’t supposed to be censoring our words, we are.” (WNYC.org)

HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE INDEPENDENT, CIVICALLY MINDED MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WHEN THEY ARE TAUGHT IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGES SELF-CENSORSHIP AND A TOE-THE LINE, POSITIVE-NEWS-ONLY, PR-ORIENTED MINDSET?