May 2020

SAPA Quarterly News

  • Essentials Ends Second Year
  • SAPA Events
  • Membership
  • Annual Dues are Due!
  • Governing Magazine
  • Route Fifty
  • Seeking Feedback on SAPA Programming
  • Seeking Volunteers to Sustain Operations
  • Save the Date!
  • Useful Resources
  • Follow SAPA on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
Essentials Ends Second Year
S APA concluded its Second Essentials Program on May 6 with a lively Zoom panel discussion on “Navigating the N.Y.S. Civil Service System.” The panel focused on career mobility and panelists included SAPA Vice Chair Catherine Durand, HR Specialist Carlos Millán, and former SAPA Executive Director Paul Shatsoff.

Eighteen participants graduated – a big shout out to Emily Badalamente , Alison Baxter , Italyia Circelli, Robert Connors , Timothy Curran , Desirée Farley , Patrick Gunty , Kramer Kwaczala, L auren Mannerberg , C arlos H. Millán , Alexander D. Morse , Sara Palis , Amy Papandrea , Samuel W. Rose,  Laura Salkowe , E mily Steinbach , Matthew Wiley , Bethany Wolfe. They become honorary SAPA members for one year, and, if last year’s graduates are a guide, some will become active in SAPA including serving on committees, working on projects, and running for board positions.

We are beginning recruitment for Essentials participants for our third year. Nominations will be made by this year’s graduates, by the SUNY MPA Alumni Office, and by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. For more information, please contact Essentials Director Stephen Schechter at
SAPA Events
Candid Conversation
The Candid Conversation in March - Celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage: “Rock the Room!” - was a great success. The panel featured four preeminent women leaders. Suzan Zimet, the NYS Food and Anti-Hunger Policy Coordinator, elaborated on the history of the women’s suffrage movement. Bilge Avci, Research Associate with the Center for Women in Government, focused on the effect of increased women’s participation on policy making and implementation. Ang Morris, the former Schenectady County Commissioner of Human Rights, spoke on women as a majority-minority and the need for diversity and tolerance. Christina Romeo, president of Capital Region Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLESN), discussed the changing face of feminism in contemporary society, considering the changing definition of the concept “woman” in a world with a variety of gender and sexual orientations. The audience of twenty-seven, engaged in a lively discussion after the presentation.
Karen Kirstein brought us "Rock the Room!” -Celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage
Suzan Zimet, NYS Food and Anti-Hunger Policy Coordinator
Public Service Excellence Awards
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SAPA has cancelled the 2020 Excellence Awards Program (scheduled for May 28).  Next year we’ll pick up where we left off, presenting awards which are designed to demonstrate our appreciation for a special group of outstanding public servants.

Pictures of last year’s Awards Event can be viewed on the SAPA gallery,
SAPA members demonstrate:

  • Skills in public administration acquired through studies or employment in a related field, whether academic, government or nonprofit;
  • A record of ethical and responsible behavior in the performance of their duties;
  • Interest in the continuous improvement of the public service in New York; and
  • Willingness to participate in and support the programs and activities of the State Academy.

The State Academy has three (3) levels of membership;  Fellow, Associate Fellow, and New Professional . The definitions of and requirements for each membership level is included on the  MembershipApplication(MS Word) .

Annual dues vary according to membership category.   Fellow ($30), Associate ($20), New Professional ($10).  The first year of membership is dues free for the balance of the calendar year.

Leaders of the SAPA Candid Conversation series and individual recipients of SAPA awards automatically become Fellows for one year after which they are required to file a membership application. Members of the Academy are provided access to and serve as subject matter experts for State Academy programs.

If you or someone you know fit the membership criteria described on the membership application, consider submitting a nomination using the form below:

Annual dues are due!
Dues letters have gone out to all member as a reminder that 2020 - 2021 dues are due. Please remember that your contribution is what keeps SAPA thriving. With your support we are able to offer programs to new professionals as well as acknowledge those who have made grand contributions in public service. Thank you in advance, for your prompt generosity.
Governing Magazine, a fascinating resource that discusses issues on the forefront of our minds concerning a range of local to Federal governmental issues that can be at your fingertips simply by registering here;
The Week in Public Finance:
The 10 States That Give More to the Feds Than They Get Back
  • Ten so-called donor states pay more in taxes to the federal government than they receive back in funding for things like Medicaid or education.
  • Connecticut tops the list of donor states. Residents there receive just 74 cents back for every $1 they pay in federal taxes.
  • Thanks to 2017's federal tax overhaul, the number of donor states could grow. That's because the amount residents owe in federal taxes will increase now that the state and local tax deduction is capped.
Route Fifty - Connecting state and local government leaders
Amid Pandemic, A Call to Re-balance State and Local Power
As flare ups between states and localities over the corona virus response get attention, one scholar says it may be a good time to reexamine the relationship between the two levels of government.

Whether it’s plastic bag bans, minimum wage hikes, paid sick leave or a host of other issues, localities around the U.S. in recent years have often found themselves blocked under state law from adopting policies that their own local elected leaders and voters support.

More recently, similar clashes involving state and local authority have come up in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, with governors and local leaders at odds in some cases over the best way to respond to the disease outbreak.
Additional resources regarding the pandemic and responses from a state and local perspective;

The Center for the Study of Federalism maintains a news feed with l-o-t-s of relevant items on Corona at

Stateside lists state and local responses on a weekly basis ;

For a quasi-Freakonomics blog:

  Sites of organizations representing;
state legislatures;
public health officials and specialists; , ,
Seeking Feedback on SAPA Programming
If you have some great ideas that you feel would benefit our members;

  • Candid Conversations topics
  • Wish to hear specific person speak
  • Ideas for a ‘lunch and learn" workshop
  • Articles to share in the next Newsletter

Please submit your ideas to .
Seeking Volunteers to Sustain Operations
SAPA is a member-based organization with a volunteer Board. Its success is attributed to the enthusiasm and dedication of its members. Below is a list of committees the Board established to support the organization. To join, please send an email of interest to: . Together, we will build an even stronger SAPA!

N ote: You do not have to be a member of the Board to volunteer for a committee.

1) Membership: Manage recruitment, engagement, and dues collection of current membership. Maintain database and organize elections for positions on the Board of Directors.

2) Marketing & Communications: Market SAPA via social media, website, and media outreach. Coordinate development of quarterly update newsletter for members.

3) Program: Annual curriculum development and event organization for Candid Conversations series, Essentials sessions, and special events.

4) Public Service Excellence Awards: Solicit and review nominations, as well as organize logistics for annual award ceremony in May.

5) Rockefeller Award: Lead selection of recipient and coordinate logistics for award ceremony for every other year. May include coordination of SAPA's annual membership meeting.

6) Technology: To research a more appropriate platform that will support the needs of the association and be fiscally responsible.
Save the Date!

Upcoming Board Meetings

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Board meetings will be held via conference call until further notice. If you plan to attend a Board meeting, notify us at for dial-in information. Dates for scheduled meetings are:

  • Tuesday, June 2, 2020
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Useful Resources

Here are some of our favorite articles and reports on topics related to public administration, public policy, and governance.
Have an article or report to share? Send the link or document to to have it featured in the next newsletter.
Follow SAPA on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Now you can keep up with SAPA, engage with other members, and proudly showcase your affiliation
through your Facebook or LinkedIn account! Like our Facebook page or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter to get updates on events, member highlights, and useful articles between newsletters.