Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
New York: Where Wilderness Preservation Began – Motivating New Leadership A Celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary
Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve in Cooperation With the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Public policy events at Rockefeller College and the University at Albany
Recent Forums and Events
Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York
Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA)
Monday, April 14, 2014
1:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This program was designed to showcase the University at Albany’s research on upstate severe weather and provided a forum for the emergency response community to discuss what they need to do to prepare for anticipated and historic meteorological events.
- Keynote by Congressman Paul Tonko
- Christopher Thorncroft, University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
- Thomas Blanchard, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
- David Vallee, Northeast River Forecast Center (NOAA)
- Kevin Niedermaier, Livingston County Emergency Management Office & NYS Emergency Management Association
- Chris Baker, Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Office
- Colleen Fullford, Schoharie County Emergency Management Office
- Acting Mayor A. Max Smith, City of Oneida
- James Fossett, Rockefeller College of Public Administration and Policy, University at Albany, and Rockefeller Institute of Government
Panel 1 – Severe Weather Forecasts for Upstate New York
Christopher Thorncroft’s Presentation
Thomas Blanchard’s Presentation
David Vallee’s Presentation
Panel 2 – Severe Weather Perspectives from the Emergency Management Community
Chris Baker’s Presentation
Colleen Fullford’s Presentation
Combating Slavery in the 21st Century
Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, and United Nations Academic Impact.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
The forum, simulcast to high schools and colleges throughout the world through the auspices of United Nations Academic Impact, addressed not only the lasting vestiges of traditional forms of slavery and indentured servitude, but also contemporary issues of child, labor and sex trafficking. Panel topics included “Slavery in the 21st Century: Continuing Impact, Lasting Vestiges and Modern Forms,” and “Tactics of the Modern Abolitionists.”
Kevin Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House International and co-author of Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, delivered a keynote address on child trafficking.
Other speakers included:
- Dorchen Leidholdt, Sanctuary for Families
- Amit Kumar, Minister in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations
- Professor Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School
- Warda Henning, United Nations Headquarters, Office on Drugs and Crime
- Professor Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, University of Southern California
- Professor Anthony Farley, Albany Law School
- Andrea Cristina Mercado, National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Professor Melissa Breger, Albany Law School
Election Law Reform: Is Now the Time?
Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the League of Women Voters of New York State.
Monday, March 24, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Throughout its history, New York State has often been recognized as one of the most progressive states in the country. However, one area in which New York has not been a leader is election reform. While other states have been experimenting for the last three decades with ways to increase opportunities to vote, New York's policies and laws have remained largely unchanged and the state's voter turnout rates have likely suffered as a result. In the last federal elections, New York has had one of the lowest voter participation rates of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Processes such as New York's paper-based voter registration system, early registration deadline and other voter registration policies have been blamed for low voter participation rates in New York State. Ballot design has often been linked to voter confusion and errors at the polls. On the contrary, early in-person voting and no-excuse for absentee ballots have been shown to increase participation in other states. In efforts to increase voter participation rates in New York State, numerous proposals for election administration reforms have been proposed and debated.
Susan Arbetter, director of news and public affairs at WCNY (PBS-Syracuse) and host of the Capitol Pressroom, moderated a discussion on proposed moves to increase New York State's electoral participation and concepts that are being utilized nationally that have gotten results.
- Senate Election Committee Chair Senator Thomas F. O'Mara;
- Assembly Election Committee Chair Assemblyman Michael Cusick;
- Tom Wilkey, former executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and executive director of the NYS Board of Elections; and
- Daniel F. Kolb, co-chair, New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Voter Participation
Increasing Voter Participation: Opportunities in New York State
2012 Election Survey Report, February 6, 2013
NYSBA Special Committee on Voter Participation Final Report
Election Law Proposals for 2014
Election Commissioner’s Association of New York State 2014 Legislative Agenda
Strengthening the Security of Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans
Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the State Budget Crisis Task Force
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government held a presentation on the crisis of underfunding of public sector defined benefit plans. The program formally unveiled the Rockefeller Institute’s Blinken Report, a study entitled “Strengthening the Security of Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans,” prepared by the Institute in cooperation with the State Budget Crisis Task Force established by former NYS Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch and former Federal Reserve Board Chair Paul Volcker.
During the course of the presentation, panelists considered how structural deficiencies in the way public sector defined benefit plans are funded have contributed to underfunding of plans by as much as $2-3 trillion. In addition to an examination of the problem, presenters also unveiled important new recommendations for these plans which, if implemented, could ensure that benefits are funded more securely.
Participating on the panel were thought leaders from the American Enterprise Institute, Governing Institute, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Urban Institute, as well as the report’s authors, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Don Boyd and Peter Kiernan, an attorney and senior member of the administrations of former NYS Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.
Open Health Data, Open Opportunities Workshop
Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the New York State Health Foundation
Friday, November 22, 2013
How can releasing millions of data points improve the health of New Yorkers? This interactive workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to explore how open health data can be a viable new resource for health research and developing innovative health interventions.
The workshop introduced public health researchers from across the state to newly available open health data resources. In addition, participants provided input to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) on what kinds of data for research are in demand.
Specific objectives of the workshop were to:
- Promote academic research on health issues confronting New York State by providing researchers with information about how to access and navigate the state’s open data portals;
- Provide the NYSDOH and other policy leaders with feedback on the usability of the state’s open health data for research purposes;
- Facilitate networking among health researchers and practitioners in New York State; and
- Further develop a community of health policy scholars among State University of New York campuses.