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Friday, March 6, 2015

Flatbush Students Lobby in Albany

Last Thursday morning, a group of 12 Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School seniors joined a group of 14 Nazareth Regional High School students on a lobbying mission to Albany led by OU Advocacy. The goal was to raise support for the Education Tax Credit bill. The bill would encourage individuals and corporations to make charitable contributions to scholarship-making organizations.

Once we arrived in Albany, we headed to the Assembly Chamber. We were officially recognized on the floor by Assembly Member James Brennan, who represents the district where Flatbush is located. We were then split into groups of four, going to legislators' offices to lobby for the bill. We met with over 30 legislators. Among them were Senators Simcha Felder and Martin Golden and Assembly Member Michael Cusick, sponsors of the bill.

This was the first time many of us had undertaken lobbying for a cause. We learned the importance of speaking out about causes that are important to us. We were also introduced to how politics works in the state government. We also, learned that there is so much more to a bill then simply voting to pass the bill or not. Thank you to Dr. Wolowelsky, YOFHS Dean of Faculty, and OU Advocacy for making all of this possible.
~Michael Dayan, Class of 2015