April 22, 2019

RA 2019: What You Need to Know

Source:  NYSUT Communications
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NYSUT's annual convention kicks off Friday, May 3.

Here's what delegates and alternates need to know.

For additional resources, visit www.nysut.org/ra.

Capital city prepares for union convention

NYSUT’s highest policymaking body, the Representative Assembly, will soon display the union strength to the state seat of power.

“This is the first time in more than 30 years we’ve been able to bring the convention to the State Capitol,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “We look forward to showing Albany the full strength of our union and the labor movement.”

Following a jam-packed pre-RA Local and Retiree Council Presidents Conference, NYSUT’s annual convention is set for May 3–4 at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza and the newly constructed Albany Capital Center.

Delegates will hear from President Pallotta, Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango, Second Vice President Paul Pecorale and Secretary- Treasurer J. Philippe Abraham. Delegates will also hear from a host of union and legislative dignitaries, including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS AFLCIO President Mario Cilento and Assembly Education Chair Michael Benedetto.

Delegates will act on 48 resolutions on a range of topics, from education to health care, organizing, retirement concerns and legislation.

While this year’s RA continues a similar streamlined time frame as previous conventions, delegates will have a brief break on Saturday between General Sessions 2 and 3.

Check your RA credentials

This week's mailing to delegates and alternates includes credentials, which will be validated once you stop at the registration area, hand in your signed credential card, present a photo ID and sign your badge in front of the Credentials Committee.

Once you have been credentialed, your badge allows you access into the RA sessions and delegate seating; rights to speak to resolutions and vote on the convention floor; and rights to participate in any other RA-related activities.

Delegates, visitors, guests and staff will NOT be allowed access on the convention floor without credentials. For those attending the pre-RA conference, please bring the enclosed credentials to the LRCPC registration.

REMEMBER: You MUST bring your credential form in its entirety with you to Albany, go to the credentialing area, and complete the process to become a registered delegate.

Follow the RA

social media

RA info and updates for smartphone users will be available throughout the convention.

News, schedule information and more will be published and accessible to users of Internet-enabled phones at www.nysut.org/ra.

Join the conversation on social media: follow and tag @NYSUT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow and use the official RA hashtag: #nysutRA.

Shuttle schedule

Shuttles will operate between official NYSUT hotels and the convention site. Please note: Shuttle service will not be available after 10 a.m. Saturday.

  • Friday, May 3: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 7:30–9 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 4: 6:30–10 a.m.

Driving to the ACC

Due to ramp closures and construction, please take note of the following recommended driving directions from the Wolf Road area to the Albany Capital Center.

  • Exit hotel and head toward NY-155 East/Albany Shaker Road.
  • Follow NY-155 East / Albany Shaker Road for approximately 5 miles. Note: Road name changes to Shaker Road and to Loudon Road along this section.
  • RIGHT onto Broadway and follow for approximately 1 mile to Clinton Avenue.
  • RIGHT onto Clinton Avenue and follow for approximately one block to North Pearl Street. n LEFT onto North Pearl Street and follow for approximately ½ mile. Note: Road name changes to South Pearl Street.
  • RIGHT turn onto Market Street — pull into Times Union parking garage up on RIGHT or head LEFT to go to P3.

Parking at the convention and other travel tips

General session #1 is scheduled to convene at 5 p.m. Friday, May 3. There will be very LIMITED parking available in Albany at this time. We STRONGLY encourage delegates to park at their hotel and use the NYSUT-provided shuttle service to travel to and from the convention site on Friday evening.

Parking is readily available in downtown Albany on Saturday. We recommend checking out of your hotel in the morning, storing your luggage in your car and driving to the convention site so that you can depart immediately after business is concluded. Please note: There will be no shuttling service back to the hotels after session concludes Saturday afternoon.

Several parking lots and garages are located around the Albany Capital Center (ACC) and the Empire State Plaza and are noted on the maps (see maps of downtown Albany, above, and Wolf Road, at left). Parking at the Times Union parking garage and V-LOT (P3) are $5 per day.

For those who are not traveling by car luggage storage will be available in the ACC for those heading to the train station or airport after session.

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are available and recommended for transportation from the convention site to the train station and the airport.

Discover Albany

Albany, New York’s capital city, was settled in 1614 and is the longest continually chartered city in the United States! It is the home of numerous attractions including the New York State Capitol, the NYS Museum and the Albany Institute of History and Art, as well as many fine eateries.

Information about all Albany has to offer is available at the NYSUT microsite set up through the City of Albany at www.albany. org/2019-nysut. The site includes information on downtown and the Wolf Road area.

Need to know: registration, visitors, hotels

Registration has been streamlined this year to make the process a little smoother. Delegates will no longer register by Election District. Instead, multiple lanes will be open to all delegates. Plenty of convention volunteers will be on hand to help out as needed.

  • If you have not already selected a committee assignment, you may choose a committee during the credentialing process on-site at the RA. Please note: committee selection closes at 6 p.m., Friday, May 3.
  • All visitors to the RA need a delegate sponsor. Badges for visitors pre-registered since the last delegate bulletin are in this mailing. Badges for other visitors are available at the convention.
  • The convention will include clearly designated gender-neutral bathroom facilities.
  • The New Delegate Orientation is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Friday in Meeting Room 2 at the Empire State Plaza.
  • Free WiFi is available in the Convention Hall at the Albany Capital Center. Phone charging stations will be available in the rear of the hall during all general sessions.
  • Spring in Albany is beautiful. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with daytime highs and nighttime lows fluctuating by as much as 30 degrees. It’s a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater for the convention center. Also, the marble and concrete flooring at the RA sites are unforgiving. Be sure to pack comfortable footwear.
  • Shuttles, available to all delegates, will operate between official NYSUT hotels and the convention site according to schedule below. Please note: (Shuttle service will not be available after 10 a.m. Saturday.)
    • Friday, May 3: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 7:30–9 p.m.
    • Saturday, May 4: 6:30–10 a.m.
  • NYSUT staff will be stationed and visible at your NYSUT block hotel and at the convention site in Albany. Do not hesitate to ask if you need any assistance whatsoever.

There are seven NYSUT RA hotels. By now you should have received your hotel information and confirmation number. If you need to make changes, please contact your hotel directly.

Convention hotel phone numbers are:

  • Desmond 518-869-8100
  • Hampton Inn, Downtown 518-432-7000
  • Hampton Inn, Wolf Road 518-438-2822
  • Hilton Garden Inn 518-464-3302
  • Home2 Suites 518-482-4045
  • Hotel Indigo 518-869-9100
  • Marriott 518-458-8444

Don't forget...

  • Please join the NYSUT LGBTQ Committee for a social at 9 p.m., Friday, May 3, at the bar at the Albany Hilton, 40 Lodge St. The event, featuring a cash bar, is a two minute walk from the RA. All are welcome.
  • Need a bite to eat on Friday? There are various cafeterias and restaurants located in the concourse of the Empire State Plaza. Those facilities will be open to delegates until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 3.
  • Friday night dinner reservations? As you can see, our schedule is jam-packed. NYSUT has already notifi ed all of the area hotels and restaurants of your arrival and asked them to prepare for you to come out to eat on Friday night after you return via shuttle to your hotel around 9 p.m. We strongly encourage you to make dinner reservations in advance.


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