This is only the beginning

 We are grateful to all the families and young people across New York State who joined us for a week of advocacy about topics and issues that are important to you! Together, we hosted 5 powerful townhalls with state commissioners and legislators. This is only the beginning of a much longer conversation. We hope you’ll be part of it.

Watch and share the townhalls with your network; contact us at to learn how we can support you in bringing the conversation back to your local legislators. Visit our Policy Agenda page to review our priorities and download materials. Let your voice be heard about the issues that matter most to families and youth!

Monday, March 1st,  2021
11:00am – 12:30pm

Family Empowerment Day

This will be the general session where we will meet with our members, discuss our policy priorities, recognize prestigious awardees, and host a workshop for how to effectively participate in the town halls.

  • Network with other families and young people with lived experience.
  • Hear powerful speakers and awardees.
  • Learn how to affectively engage with legislators and government officials.
  • Learn about important policy issues and get involved!
  • Discover how you can make a difference in your community!

Town Halls

Did you miss a townhall? See the recordings below and share with your networks!

Developmental Disabilities Townhall 


Tuesday, March 2nd, 10am-10:45. 
Abiba Kindo, OPWDD Deputy Commissioner, Division of Service Delivery Regional Offices
Senate and Assembly Committee Chairs (pending)

Child Welfare Townhall 

Wednesday, March 3rd, 3pm-3:45pm. 
Sheila Poole, Commissioner, Office of Children and Family Services
Andrew Hevesi, Assembly Children and Families Chair
Jabari Brisport, Senate Children and Families Chair
Roxanne Persaud, Senate Social Services Chair

Youth Justice Townhall

Thursday, March 4th, 9:30am-10:15am.
Sheila Poole, Commissioner, Office of Children and Family Services
Jamaal T. Bailey, Senate Codes Chair 

Mental Health and Addiction Townhall

Thursday, March 4th, 2:45pm- 3:30pm
Dr. Ann Sullivan, Commissioner, Office of Mental Health
Samra Brouk, Senate Mental Health Chair
Peter Harckham, Senate Chairman of Committee on Alcoholism and Substance

Education Justice Townhall 

Friday, March 5th, 11am-11:45am
Dr. Betty Rosa, Interim Commissioner, State Education Department
Shelley B. Mayer, Senate Education Chair

Be sure to download our Policy Priorities for your own legislative meetings. Contact if you need support.

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