Hello to all the Compassion & Choices supporters in the Lower Hudson Valley!
Stacey and Laura recently met with the state campaign leaders of Compassion & Choices, Corinne Carey and Amanda Cavanaugh. The C&C leaders went over their 2018 agenda with us and asked us for help on a short list of items. So now we’re asking for YOUR help.
Please read the below and see what you can do…
1. Join us in Albany on April 23
Lobby Day is where we meet up with our legislators and their staffs in pre-scheduled meetings in their Albany offices to share with them why passing the Medical Aid in Dying Act is so important to us. It’s an energizing experience and a very effective use of your time.
There will more details forthcoming, including transportation if you need it, in the coming weeks. Please check back on our website https://lhvactionteamcompassionchoices.wordpress.com/ for more details or send any questions to us at this email address. email@example.com
2. Show your support at one of the upcoming hearings on Medical Aid in Dying this spring
The New York State Assembly has agreed to host two public hearings on the Medical Aid in Dying Act, one on April 23 in Albany (on our Lobby Day), and one on May 3 in NYC. This is where we supporters can speak directly to our legislators in a public forum about this very important topic. It is not standard practice for New York to hold open hearings so this is a HUGE step forward for our campaign!
These hearings are the most important advocacy event yet for the Medical Aid in Dying campaign in New York so we need you at the hearings to pack the room. (Our opponents will certainly be there in force.) Please also consider testifying at the hearings and making your voice heard. (We can send you more info on that, if you write back to us. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Immediately following the hearing in Albany on April 23, the campaign is setting up opportunities for important meetings with your lawmakers. See Item 1 above for more info about Lobby Day.
Let us know if you’re interested in testifying on either April 23 or May 3 and we can send you more info. If you don’t want to testify it’s ok. We really just need you to come be part of our group to show our state legislators how strong our support is for this issue. So please make every effort to join us on either or both of these two hearings days and make our voices heard.
Please check back on our website https://lhvactionteamcompassionchoices.wordpress.com/ for more details or send us any questions to this email address. email@example.com
3. One local meeting can make all the difference
One of our top goals this year for our cause is to get more co-sponsors in the Assembly and Senate for our bill. In some other states, voters have voted on Medical Aid in Dying laws, but in New York State the law will go into effect only after being approved by the State Assembly, the Senate and then the Governor. It’s a long legislative journey. The more co-sponsors the bill has, the faster it may move up the ladder.
What can we grassroots supporters do about this legislative process? We can help our NY State campaign leaders line up co-sponsors for our bill in the legislature.
Corinne and Amanda have met with every lawmaker in both the New York House and Senate to find out where they stand on our issue.
They have identified three Assembly Members in Westchester and Putnam counties who might become bill co-sponsors if we constituents meet with them and specifically request their support. Laura and Stacey are willing to set up and lead the meetings but we need a group presence to really make an impact. Who will join us?
Here are the three Assemblymen and their office locations. The meetings would probably be sometime in spring or summer 2018. If you’re a constituent of one of these Assembly Members or know someone who is, please let us know! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assembly member David Buchwald (Assembly District 93: Bedford, Harrison, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Lewisboro, Mt. Kisco, Pound Ridge, and White Plains)
100 S. Bedford Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Assembly member Kevin Byrne (Assembly District 94: Yorktown, Mahopac, Brewster, Patterson)
3 Starr Ridge Rd.
Brewster, NY 10509
Assembly member Gary Pretlow (Assembly District 89: Mount Vernon and parts of Yonkers)
6 Gramatan Ave.
Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
4. What other groups are you part of?
We need group endorsers on our issue. Polls show that the majority of individual New Yorkers would like to have options at the end of life and a law allowing this. But we need the muscle of institutional endorsers to really put this issue on the map for our Legislature (see above on how the legislators are the ones who are going to pass this law for us).
Are you a member of a cancer coalition? An ALS foundation? A nursing organization? An HIV/AIDS fundraising group? A large senior group? A sympathetic religious group? Another New York group that might be willing to endorse the Medical Aid in Dying bill? If so, let us know and we’ll give you the tips and handouts for making the first outreach, and then Corinne and Amanda will take it from there.
5. Ask your doctor where he or she stands
Until we get more physicians and hospice providers to sign on as supporters of our bill, it won’t get very far. Please ask your doctor if they are a supporter of the medical aid-in-dying option at end of life, or would at least or not oppose this bill.
For more on how to Ask Your Doctor, see this previous post: https://lhvactionteamcompassionchoices.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/info-on-the-ask-your-doctor-campaign/
If you get a positive response, please send Amanda Cavanaugh the doctor’s name and email for her to continue the outreach. email@example.com
Judging from other states’ experience, the support and discussion about our bill will grow from physician to physician, and eventually rise to the state medical organization level, but we patients are the ones who need to get the ball rolling.
6. Other upcoming events
For more info about other Lower Hudson Valley C&C events, visit https://lhvactionteamcompassionchoices.wordpress.com/updates/ and the Compassion & Choices state website Events page: (https://www.compassionandchoices.org/new-york/new-york-events/)
Thanks for reading this bulletin, and we hope to hear back from you about the above items!
Stacey Gibson & Laura Kelly
Facebook updates: https://www.facebook.com/CompassionandChoicesNewYork/
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