Recapping “Legislative Day 2024: A Day of Action”

Christian New Yorkers gathered in Albany for New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation’s Legislative Day on March 12, 2024. Attendees were treated to a dynamic event that combined cutting-edge policy analysis, quality Biblical teaching, wisdom about how best to exert a godly influence on school boards, an informative panel discussion featuring two state senators, and a demonstration in the halls of the New York State Capitol.

Emma Waters of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at the Heritage Foundation began Legislative Day with a timely speech entitled “The Wild West of Artificial Reproductive Technology.” Emma’s remarks offered much-needed moral and conceptual clarity about in vitro fertilization and related bioethical topics.

NYFRF Executive Director Jason McGuire interviewed Rev. Gary VanRiper of Camden Parkside Bible Church on the topic of “How to Be Heard at Your School Board Meeting.” Rev. VanRiper shared important information about how to influence school boards to keep public schools free from obscene library books and curricula.

Mr. McGuire then held a panel discussion entitled “What Can Social Conservatives Expect this Legislative Session?” The discussion featured State Sens. Jake Ashby (R-Castleton) and Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua), as well as NYFRF’s Stephen P. Hayford. Among other topics, Sens. Ashby and Helming spoke about how important it is for conservative voters to speak out and actively participate in the political process.

Pastor Mike Servello Jr. of Redeemer Church shared an inspiring Biblical defense of the sanctity of life. Pastor Mike reminded listeners that every human being—at any stage of development—is of immeasurable value and worth as a bearer of God’s divine image.

This year’s Legislative Day theme was “A Day of Action.” After lunch, attendees acted on their beliefs about the sanctity of life by demonstrating at the Capitol on behalf of the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide. The demonstration featured evangelical Christians, disability rights advocates, and Roman Catholics standing together in opposition to physician-assisted death. Before the demonstration, Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut gave a talk entitled “Defeating Assisted Suicide in the Northeast: Lessons Learned.”

During Legislative Day, Jason McGuire announced that New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation and its sister organization, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, have been renamed. New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation is now known as New York Families Foundation, and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is now known as New York Families Action. While the two organizations’ names have changed, their Christian values remain constant. New York Families Foundation equips and empowers New Yorkers of faith for effective participation in their government. New York Families Action advocates for policies that respect life, family, and religious liberty.

One goal of Legislative Day is to educate, encourage, and equip Christian New Yorkers to be effective, godly advocates for righteous causes. A related goal is to act as a visible Christian presence, reminding Albany lawmakers that followers of Christ still live in New York and care deeply about our state. At Legislative Day 2024, both important goals were achieved. New York Families Foundation and New York Families Action are grateful to everyone—speakers and attendees alike—who joined us on March 12. We pray that the event was edifying to all who were present.

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