What is Capitol Action Day?

An opportunity of political advocacy for New York State social workers, sponsored by Senator Roxanne J. Persaud!

Social workers and mental health professionals, it's time to make your voices heard. 
Capitol Action Day is NASW-NYS’s annual advocacy event. This year we are fortunate to hold Capitol Action Day in-person on February 14th, 2023! It’s a day when we can come together, as social workers, to advocate for the policies that will help us provide better services to our communities and better serve the profession. 
At Capitol Action Day, we’ll have a chance to talk with legislators about the issues that matter to us—and most importantly, to you. This year we are advocating to expand social work loan forgiveness opportunities, and address the inequities in social work salaries across the state. It is our hope that this year’s Capitol Action Day will be an effective exchange between you and legislative leaders from both the Assembly and Senate. 
We want your presence in this process! Your advocacy is crucial to ensure successful passage of legislation and budget commitments that will address our concerns and support an expansive and responsive mental health delivery system.
Let's make good use of this opportunity!
LEADERSHIP TRAINING

"Social workers should strive to become and remain proficient in professional practice and the performance of professional functions. Social workers should critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to social work. Social workers should routinely review the professional literature and participate in continuing education relevant to social work practice and social work ethics."

Social Work Code of Ethics

CONNECT WITH REPRESENTATIVES

"Social workers should contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity, and competence of the social work profession. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service, legislative testimony, presentations in the community, and participation in their professional organizations."

Social Work Code of Ethics

ADVOCATE FOR THE FUTURE

"Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions to meet basic human needs and promote social justice."

Social Work Code of Ethics

RESEARCH POLICY

"Social workers should critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to social work and fully use evaluation and research evidence in their professional practice."

Social Work Code of Ethics

Do you want social workers and the issues we are passionate about to be front and center during FY 2023 legislative session?

For the first time ever, NASW-NYS and our members will be meeting with legislators from across the state, and we need YOU there to support us in making sure that social workers' concerns are being heard.
Our profession and the communities we serve are under attack from many different directions. It's critical that we show up at Capitol Action Day and make our voices heard, so we can protect the important services we provide. The event is also a great place for networking with other social workers, who can share personal stories about their own experiences as well as strategies for dealing with challenges in the profession.

What's different about this year? We will host a Continuing Education course at Capitol Action Day approved by NYSED for 2.0 CE Credits!

Policy in Action: The Practice of Social Work Policy Advocacy at the 2023 Capitol Action Day: Presented by Evelyn G. Williams. For additional details, click here! The CE course is $10 for all workshop attendees; if you do not need the CE credits, registration is free.  
We know it's not always easy to get out and advocate in-person—but this event is worth it! Please join us on February 14th, 2023 at the State Capitol in Albany, New York! Please click the registration button below to register for Capitol Action Day 2023!

What to expect

Capitol Action Day is open to both social work students and professionals. Attendees will visit their legislators throughout the day via legislative appointments or blanket canvassing to advocate for our issues. Please see below for the schedule of the day. Legislators will be in session on the day of; therefore, the schedule may change.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge! *Please let us know if you have any food allergies or special dietary needs.

Information, updates, and resources pertaining to Capitol Action Day will be emailed DIRECTLY to your email address. As such, please ensure your email address is correctly filled out when registering.

Instructions for scheduling meetings with your representatives:

Please contact your representatives to schedule meetings for February 14th.

STEP 1: Find your legislators and their contact information. Click here to identify your representatives. The website will provide you with your representatives name, email address, and phone number.

STEP 2: Learn about your legislators: Know basic information about them-

  • Where are they from?
  • What committee's do they serve on?
  • What legislation have they worked on?

STEP 3: Call AND email your legislators asking to schedule a meeting:

“Hi, my name is ____ and I am a constituent in your district as well as a social work student/professional. The New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is hosting their annual advocacy event, Capitol Action Day, on February 14th, 2023 in Albany. Can I please set up a brief visit with ____ or the staff on the 14th to discuss policy issues important to social workers?”

If you would like for us to assist you with making individual appointments, please contact: oknox.naswnys@socialworkers.org!

STEP 4: Prepare for your meeting: Capitol Action Day is reserved for the legislative agenda set by our members on the Advocacy Committee. The Advocacy Committee always sets our agenda and the Board votes to approve it. This year's chapter priorities are to advocate for equitable social work salaries, and expand social work loan forgiveness opportunities. We ask that at your individual meetings, you advocate for the above issues, using the position papers and additional resources attached. We also encourage participants to advocate for their personal communities' political agendas.

We need social workers' lived experience to speak on the policy priorities at hand. Our profession and the communities we serve are under attack from many different directions. It's critical that we show up at Capitol Action Day and make our voices heard, so we can protect the important services we provide.

Please email oknox.naswnys@socialworkers.org with your individual meeting details.

Hear from attendants from last year

What was their experience like with Capitol Action Day?

caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right
Allysha Bryant

One of my professors recommended that I attend NASW-NYS Capitol Action Day as a student interested in Political Action. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I loved that the chapter had resources such as videos on the structure of government and previews of the bills to prepare the participants for engagement. Through this experience, I learned more about the role of the legislature on the client populations I serve. Additionally, I was able to educate communities on the legislative priorities that impact them and empower them to share their lived experiences with their elected officials. Capitol Action Day is a gateway to the legislative sphere, providing social workers the opportunity to ensure that social work values are reflective in our state's legislation. This is an event that I will be looking forward to every year!

Pilar Bonilla

I attended Capitol Action Day because I wanted to learn more about the roles social workers could play in implementing social change on a policy level. I have absolutely no regrets and think that all social workers and social work students should attend this event.

Capitol Action Day showed me that regardless of the path we may choose to pursue within the social work profession, it is important to know the impact that we can make united as a collective.

Mark Buttiglieri

Capitol Action Day was very organized and orchestrated to maximize NASW-NYS legislative priorities. I found it interesting that legislators and their policy staff were very interested and eager to hear directly from social workers. Social workers are poised, based upon experience and expertise, to provide important feedback to address social issues, social determinants of health, and weigh-in on policy concerns. The relationship and partnership developed between social workers and legislators enhances policy-making for the betterment of the clients that we serve. I would strongly urge social workers to participate in Capitol Action Day 2023 to share expertise, provide advocacy and learn about policy.

Cheryl Mills

I was surprised that although it was done virtually that the legislators who participated were welcoming and sincerely interested in what we had to say. They had good knowledge of what Social Workers do and one expressed concern about the low salaries of Social Workers and believed we should be better compensated for the work we do. This has resulted in collaboration between this legislator and the state chapter to work on this issue.

Hear from Senator Robert Jackson on the importance of social work advocacy

Hear from a fellow social worker, Assembly Woman Chantel Jackson, LMSW!

New York State Assembly Members who joined us last year:

Assembly Member Jaime Williams, District 59

Assembly Member Chantel Jackson, District 79

Assembly Member Jessica Rojas-Gonzalez, District 34

Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, District 67

Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, District 82

Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, District 65

Assembly Member Steven Crymbrowitz, District 45

Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus, District 46

Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, District 75

 

 

Hear from Senator Samra Brouk on the importance of the social work profession

Hear from Senator Roxanne Persaud on advocating for the profession

New York State Senators who joined us last year:

Senator Samra Brouk, District 55

Senator Julia Salazar, District 18

Senator Robert Jackson, District 31

Senator Roxanne Persaud, District 19

Senator Gustavo Rivera, District 33

Senator Shelley Mayer, District 37

 

 

 

The Venue

More on Empire State Plaza and the NYS Capitol!

Empire State Plaza 

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza - one of the most spectacular capital centers in the country. The Plaza exists because of the vision and determination of one man, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who wanted to create "the most electrifying capital in the world." To fulfill his purpose, Rockefeller commissioned Wallace K. Harrison, a personal friend and chief architect for Rockefeller Center, to be the principal architect for the Plaza. Construction began in 1965 and was completed in 1978. Since its completion, the Empire State Plaza has become a cultural center for thousands of visitors each year.

Read more on the Empire State Plaza!

New York State Capitol  

The New York State Capitol, the seat of the New York state government, is located in Albany, the capital city of New York. The capitol building is part of the Empire State Plaza complex on State Street in Capitol Park. Housing the New York State Legislature, the building was completed in 1899 at a cost of US $25 million (equivalent to $675 million in modern dollars), making it the most expensive government building of its time. The New York State Capitol was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1979.

Read more on the New York State Capitol!

Driving Directions to the Empire State Plaza located in Albany, New York:

Please call to request directions to hearings in other locations or use Google Maps link to generate a map and detailed driving directions.

From the North:

Take Interstate I-87 (Northway) to Interstate I-90 East (exit #1E). Take Interstate I-90 to Interstate 787 South. Take Exit #3A for the Empire State Plaza. The Division of Tax Appeals/Tax Appeals Tribunal is located in Agency Building #1, 3rd Floor.

From the South:

Take New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) to Exit 23 - straight through Toll Booth to Interstate 787, then take Exit #3 for the Empire State Plaza. The Division of Tax Appeals/Tax Appeals Tribunal is located in Agency Building #1, 3rd Floor.

From the East:

Take Interstate 90 West to Exit # B1 (I-90). Continue on I-90 to Interstate 787 South. Follow I-787 South to Exit #3A for the Empire State Plaza. The Division of Tax Appeals/Tax Appeals Tribunal is located in Agency Building #1, 3rd Floor.

From the West:

Take the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) to Exit 24 (Albany), proceed east on Interstate 90 to Interstate 787 South. Take exit # 3A for the Empire State Plaza. The Division of Tax Appeals/Tax Appeals Tribunal is located in Agency Building #1, 3rd Floor.

Parking:

There are two public lots located on Madison Avenue, which is the street directly to the south of Agency Building 1: The Madison Visitor Parking Lot located behind the Cultural Education Center (State Museum) and the Cathedral Lot located between the Cultural Education Center (Museum) and the Albany Cathedral. For a complete guide to all visitor parking available at and around the Empire State Plaza, please refer to Office of General Services parking management.

Parking at Empire State Plaza:

V-lot (Visitors Lot)

Located beneath the Empire State Plaza and accessed through I-787 Empire State Plaza exit. Visitors may be required to show photo identification upon entry and all vehicles are subject to search by the State Police. This lot has designated accessible parking spaces. 

Hours & Fees Monday - Friday

$10.00 Flat Fee (parkers staying past 3:00 a.m. will be charged for next day parking)90 minutes or less, no charge at Exit Gate

Hours & Fees Weekends

$5.00 Flat Fee (parkers staying past 3:00 a.m. will be charged for next day parking)90 minutes or less, no charge at Exit Gate

Card payments only - cash not accepted.

For additional information about parking please visit https://empirestateplaza.ny.gov/parking

Amtrak Directions:

From Penn Station:

Albany-Rensselaer Bound Train

Empire Service 281 Niagara Falls Amtrak Station to Rensselaer Rail Station

GET IN TOUCH...

Do you have questions about Capitol Action Day 2023? Send us a message!