Making Democracy Work

2021 Students Inside Albany Conference (Virtual)


Friday, May 21, 4:00-6:00 pm and Saturday, May 22, 10:00 - 12 noon and 1:00 - 4:30 pm

The League of Women Voters of New York State believes that educating and empowering the youth of our country is vital to maintaining a strong democracy. The State League's primary youth program is Students Inside Albany (SIA) Conference. This Conference usually is an intensive four day training experience held in the spring and is designed to immerse students in the process by which public policy is proposed, enacted and changed in New York State and educate them as to how they can influence and affect this process. Albany insiders discuss the operations of New York State government including how policy is shaped and enacted. Students develop knowledge of the disparate forces that influence policy development. Additionally, students are afforded the opportunity to observe Assembly and Senate sessions and to shadow both their Assembly members and Senators.

Because of the COVID pandemic, the state League is unable to offer the usual SIA Conference. Instead, we have taken some of the important aspects of the Conference and created a virtual Conference to be held on May 21-22. The students will still learn about state government and how to influence public policy decision-making and will still meet and talk with legislators about issues. Each local League is entitled to select 2 students to attend this virtual Conference. The tentative schedule is outlined below; students are expected to attend and participate in BOTH days of the Conference.

Friday 4:00 pm Welcome and Introductions Laura Ladd Bierman, LWVNYS Executive Director and Crystal Joseph, LWVNYS Youth Director

4:10 pm Presentation on NY Youth Civics Initiative (NYYCI)

Jason Bohner, Director (NYC)
Daltin Danser, NYYCI Participant (Buffalo)
Moderator: Crystal Joseph

5:00 pm Presentation on NYS Government

Jennifer Wilson, LWVNYS Deputy Director and Legislative Director

5:45 pm Trivia, Networking and Informal Conversation of Participants

Saturday 10:00 + 12 noon Gather on Zoom Media Panel on How the Media Influences Public Policy

Moderator: Jennifer Wilson
Panelists: TBD

1:00- 2:00 pm Legislative Session 1 2:15- 3:30 pm Legislative Session 2 Break Out Rooms with Legislators

Students will be assigned to break out rooms with legislators from their or neighboring
districts to discuss current issues and advocacy

3:30-4:00 Why Voting Matters

Laura Ladd Bierman, Crystal Joseph and Jennifer Wilson

4:00 + 4:30 Evaluation and Wrap Up

Deadline for submission of application and reference is February 26, 2021.

All materials must be submitted by e-mail to

Information document and Agenda

Student Application Form

Student Reference Form