Tom Ortmeyer, 315-265-8219
The Adirondack Mountain Club maintains an active and vital advocacy program. In particular, ADK is committed to protecting the wild lands and waters in our backyards. The Advocacy staff in cooperation with club members are very effective in recognizing the key issues, developing clear position statements, and advocating these positions to key public officials. A key to ADK’s success in advocacy is that club members have consistently reached out to key individuals supporting the club’s positions.
Members traditionally have written letters and attended public hearings on matters of interest. These both continue to be effective methods of making your views known. Email has recently become an equally important method for supporting positions of importance. The ADK website’s Advocacy page makes this particularly easy to do - on key issues, it provides a draft text that can easily be altered, and sent directly from the website. You can also sign up to receive “Action Alerts” on this page, to keep you informed on the latest key issues.
In many cases, the key individuals are the senators and assembly members who represent us. I was recently asked who my State Senator and Assembly members were - and I couldn’t answer. I certainly could name several Senators and Assembly members whose districts are (at least partially) in the county, but wasn’t fully sure which were “mine.”
A bit of research showed me that Saint Lawrence County is represented by three state Senators, Patty Ritchie in District 48, Joseph Griffo in District 47, and Betty Little in District 45. New York has a population of 19.65 million, and Saint Lawrence County has a population of 112 thousand, approximately 0.5% of the state total. There are 63 Senate districts, so the county is represented by almost 5% of the senators.
In the Assembly, St. Lawrence County is represented by Addie Russell in District 116, Marc Butler in District 118, Janet Duprey in District 115, and Ken Blankenbush in District 117. The Assembly has 150 members, so 2.7% of Assembly members have districts that include a part of the county.
If you’re like me, the ADK advocacy page will help you identify your senator or assembly member - just a couple mouse clicks and it can be all done. If Laurentian Chapter members residing across St. Lawrence County do contact their legislators on key issues, we have the opportunity to reach out to a larger proportion of the legislature than our basic numbers indicate. I encourage you to follow the ADK advocacy initiatives, study the issues, and let the decision makers know of your own position on these issues.