CONTACT: Kathleen M. Cloutier, Executive Director, AlbanyCAP
PHONE: 518-463-3175
DATE OF EVENT: January 16, 2008 TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: AlbanyCAP- 333 Sheridan Avenue Albany
RE: Walk a Mile Program Kick-Off with Assemblyman Reilly

Walk a Mile” Program Pairs Legislators with Low Income Constituents

Albany, New York – The Albany Community Action Partnership (AlbanyCAP) is partnering with the Low Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) on a unique educational opportunity across New York State through the national “Walk a Mile” Program, partnering New York State legislators and low-income constituents, one-on-one, for a month of “walking a mile in each others’ shoes.”.

Eighteen legislators from the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, along with Paul D. Tonko, President and CEO of NYSERDA, will be paired together with low-income families from around New York State during this month-long project, beginning on January 14, 2008 and ending on February 11, 2008. Participants will meet face to face, conduct telephone meetings, and have opportunities to share daily activities. Legislators will also be asked to live on a Food Stamp budget during the project.

These closely shared experiences between policy makers and those who are directly affected by those policies provide a deeper and fuller understanding of the issues and obstacles families face when living on public assistance. Simultaneously, participants will have an opportunity to better understand the policy making process and help identify solutions to address the issues they face.

The project will culminate with a reception held at the Second Annual Poverty Symposium, sponsored by the New York State Community Action Association (NYSCAA) on February 25-26, 2008. Following on May 20-21, 2008, a keynote address at the LIFE Statewide Conference, will be held at the Albany Marriott.

LIFE is sponsored by the New York State Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“Walk a Mile” is a national program based in Seattle, Washington. The program has trained and provided technical assistance to organizations in 36 states to successfully coordinate projects. For more information, visit the national “Walk a Mile” website at www.walkamile.org or contact Natasha Grossman at 206-543-3027

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