BY SERIAH SARGENTON
City Councilmember Leah Golby visited the College last week to speak to the Saint Rose College Democrats about how to get more politically involved in the neighborhood. Golby also explained what it’s like to be on the city’s common council.
“I want Saint Rose campus to see that we are active,” said Kyle Adams, president of the Saint Rose College Democrats.
Golby spoke to the group about neighborhood opportunities that students can take part in such as the Pine Hills improvement group, a committee within the Pine Hills Association that works on ways to improve the living conditions in the neighborhood for everyone.
She suggested the students get more involved with organizations such as the Saint Rose College Democrats or New Sanctuary for immigrants if they want to be politically involved.
Golby’s appearance on campus sparked the curiosity of students such as Michael Trageser, a freshman at Saint Rose. Trageser has always wanted to join a college democrats chapter. Through Golby, Trageser wanted to learn how to be more active in the community because he is new to the area.
To show students how they don’t need a background in politics to be involved, she gave a brief background about herself. Golby attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention as a Bernie Sanders delegate, which she described as a “great learning experience.”
She is approaching the end of her second term and is currently preparing for the Albany city elections. She first ran for council in 2009. She ran against Jimmy Scalzo after he voted on key decision that upset progressive Albany residents.
Golby moved to Albany in 1986 when she began studying at the State University of Albany for theater.
Moving forward, she talked about what a city council is and how they impact the city. The Albany council members deal with issues by holding meetings and voting on decisions to keep the city moving forward as well as staying involved in the local communities. She explained that as part of home ruling, the council members vote on city laws they think will benefit the city and then forward it to the state representative.
Home ruling involves issues that are left to local government to handle, but issues such as immigration and drugs are handled on a federal level. Home rules protect the health and safety of the city population, while federal laws protect the state.
“Local laws are the strongest form of law passed in city government,” Golby said.
Learning about the local government is important. The event allowed students to add a new college experience according to Andrew Zamacoma, a freshman at the College.
Zamacoma hopes that this event will expand across the campus so that more people will be involved. In the future, he wants to see young people get engaged and have their voices heard as well because he believes their opinions are important as well.
“We are the future,” said Zamacoma.