How to Write a Professional Letter to Higher Officers

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					Write a letter! Now is the time to write letters to your local legislators asking them to support the
bill. Elsewhere in this newsletter there are specific instructions on this issue. The letter-writing
campaign to legislative representatives continues to be very helpful. Many members who
previously wrote to urge their representatives to support the licensure bill received pledges of
support from their senators and/or assemblymembers. All of these letters become part of the
supporting materials which travel with the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.
In addition, we welcome comments at anytime from our membership. Feel free to call or e-mail any
of the Officers or Directors listed in this newsletter. Make your opinion count.

While we have made much progress towards establishing legal recognition of Professional
Geologists, there is more work yet to do. It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of our
members, both individual and corporate. Financial support is our lifeblood and I am very grateful
to those people and firms who provide the resources which allow the NYSCPG to carry this effort
forward. We will depend upon you to bring this legislation to fruition. Keep the faith.

A revised version of a proposed law to establish professional licensure for geologists has been
introduced into both houses of the New York State Legislature. The language of the bill is
posted on the New York State Council of Professional Geologists (NYSCPG) web page, found
at This version of the bill has the support of the New York State Society
of Professional Engineers, New York State Education Department, New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation, Public Employees Federation, and Empire State Water Well
Drillers Association to name a few. The bills are in the Senate (Bill no. S2784-B) and in the
Assembly (Bill no. A4774-C). If you support such an initiative, if you wish to strengthen the
profession of geology, write a letter !


   1. Write directly to your local Assemblymember and Senator. Letters of support should be
      kept to a single page. Include the names of the chair of the Higher Education
      Committees of the Senate and Assembly as “copied:” on your letter (Senator Toby Ann
      Stavisky and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, see addresses below). These
      committees will decide the fate of the bill. Addresses for all Assemblymen and Senators
      are available on the web at and and
      also on the NYSCPG home page. Note the slight differences in the URLs for the Senate
      and Assembly.
   2. In addition to your senator and assemblyman, please mail one signed copy of each letter
      to Mark Williams, 179 River Street, Troy, New York 12180 to document your effort.
   3. If you are not a New York State resident, send a letter of your support to the senate and
      assembly sponsors of the bill: Senator Thompson and Assemblyman Englebright, with
      “copy:” to the two names listed in item 1 above.


The following “talking points” might be incorporated into a letter requesting support from a
legislator. In addition, personalize your letter by mentioning specific programs or projects in
which you, as a geologist, have been involved that enhanced public health and welfare of the
people of New York. Many of you have worked on recent programs or projects that have
received local media and/or political attention. These examples would be particularly effective
for projects involving mines, landfills, water resources and many other situations that affect our
safety and our natural resources.

Public health and welfare: Geologists routinely make decisions and offer opinions that directly
affect public health and welfare.
Legal responsibility: Professional licensure provides a positive legal responsibility and
accountability to the public in matters that involve geology.
Qualification assurance: Licensure assures the governor, state legislature and state and local
agencies that highly qualified geologists are available to work in the state. Licensure of
geologists is a mechanism for the State of New York to provide the public with appropriately
qualified professionals capable of making decisions regarding geologic issues.
Consumer Protection: The public looks to geologists to solve problems relating to land use
and management such as solid waste disposal, ground water protection, contaminant
investigations (e.g. Superfund sites), alternative energy resource assessment and development,
climate change, potable water supply development, mining, and public works projects to name
just a few. Licensure is particularly important for a regulatory or service-driven industry where
there may be few tangible factors to evaluate. Geologists evaluate natural resources such as oil
and gas, and natural hazards including earthquakes, landslides and subsidence, erosion, and
flooding, all of which have documented occurrence in New York State and have financial
impacts of tens of millions of dollars. Professional licensure is a credential by which New York
State and the public can recognize those capabilities.


Dear (Senator) (Assemblymember):

As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask you to support Bill S2784-
B and A4774-C, an act to amend the education law in relation to the practice of
geology. This bill would provide for the professional licensure of geologists in New
York State. The bill would greatly improve the practice of geology and provide
better protection to the health and welfare of the residents of New York. Geologists
are routinely involved in matters pertaining to drinking water supplies,
transportation, construction, mining, natural hazards, hazardous waste, and
cleanup programs, among others. This Same As bill has the support of the New
York State Society of Professional Engineers, New York State Education
Department, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Public
Employees Federation, and Empire State Water Well Drillers Association to name a

For the past few years the licensure bill has died in the Assembly’s Higher Education
Committee, which is the reason I am contacting you for the first time in the hopes
you can convince Chair Deborah J. Glick and the rest of the committee members to
pass this bill. As one of your constituents, I ask that you contact members
of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee and persuade them to pass
the bill and send it to the Assembly floor for a vote before the end of this
year’s legislative session.

(Insert your version of the “talking points” provided above, and your own
experience with issues where human health, the environment, or monetary
concerns are at stake.)

I urge you to support this important consumer protection legislation. Thank you for
your support.

Copy:         Senator Toby Ann Stavisky             Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick
              509 LOB                               717 LOB
              Albany, NY 12247                      Albany, NY 12248

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