Monday, June 21, 2010

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?"

It is 6:01am and I am leaving for my final state competition in Albany in exactly t-minus 59 mintues (but who's counting!?). I cannot believe how fast this day arrived!

Four months ago I was told that the Miss Greater Rochester Organization was coming back. Excluding Miss Greater Rochester I was eligible to compete for 10 local titles across our state. I was faced with a tough decision of competing for the other titles or putting all my eggs in one basket and going for the opportunity to represent my hometown competing in the last local of the season in my last year of eligibility, Miss Greater Rochester.

I prayed for a sign. I prayed hard. I talked about how I wished there was a big book where when you were faced with a tough decision you could just open up the book and all the answers were there telling you what to do. Wouldn't that be nice?

I came across a quote that said, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?" I knew immediately what my answer was. In my heart I wanted to go to Miss New York and represent my hometown of Rochester, NY. Nothing felt more right and nothing would compare. So I took a pretty big risk and was honored to find it pay off. I cannot put into words how tremendously proud I am to be Miss Greater Rochester.

This is my last trip to Miss New York. My fourth and final year competing in the Miss America Organization. I've learned over the years how fickle judging can be, how subjective it is, and how one can never really count on anything. And that's ok.

I feel like I've already won. When Miss Greater Rochester is called I am the girl who gets to step forward. I am so excited to represent this area, my home. What an amazing group of people Rochesterians are! So passionate, proud, intelligent, dedicated...ranked one of the top cities in the nation to raise a family! Teeming with culture, music, restaurants, sports, festivals. And I get to brag about it all week long in Albany!

I am going to pageant week this year with a whole new sense of calm. I have worked HARD. I know I am deserving. I know I am ready. I know I would work day in and day out to be the best Miss New York this state has ever seen. I am calm because I am trusting in that work. The hard stuff is done! This is the week where I get to celebrate the area I'm representing and trust that everything else is out of my hands. What's meant to be will be.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me get here. I am so blessed to say the list is far too long to name but you know who you all are. I want more than anything to make you and to make Rochester proud.

"Give it your best shot and take what comes"-Dad

Friday, June 11, 2010

11th Hour

I would like to share with you and comment on an email I received from the New York State Council on the Arts as I believe it should be read by all New Yorkers:


We are down to the wire on budget negotiations.

We MUST get our legislators to speak out in support of arts funding and against the 40% cut in CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TODAY!!!!!!!

Get in touch with your democratic legislators directly or their chief of staff, in both the Assembly and Senate.


We must get a critical mass speaking out in conference committees TODAY. The Speaker and Majority Leader will respond to that pressure.

If we do not get a significant number of members speaking out, we will fall through the cracks. The smallest state agency is facing the biggest cut.

Call your electeds NOW. Speak with them directly or their chief of not leave a message with the receptionist.

(NYS ARTS Advocacy HQ is your directory for all legislative contacts)

We are really down to the wire and it is NOT looking good. You probably know that Paterson put his health care cuts ($775 million) into the weekly extender that was passed this week. He has threatened to put education cuts in next week's extender bill and then said he'd put it off a week to give the legislators time to come to final agreement on a budget. If there isn't progress on the budget, NYSCA cuts could also end up in the extender because it's part of the Education, Labor and Family Assistance bill. !!!!!!!!!!!

So you really have to kick this can hard NOW. We are all busy and crazed, but take a few minutes to do this NOW.

Update on action taken: We now have almost 19,000 emails to legislators, and the leadership in Albany. A letter was sent to all Senate and the Assembly members asking for a restoration of arts funding. It was signed by 21 statewide and regional service organizations and was delivered by courier to every legislator on TUESDAY, June 8 in the am. On Thursday June 10 a group pf advocates will troll the halls and meet with legislators.


Judith Kaufman Weiner
Executive Director"

Folks, times are TOUGH! Our state is standing on the brink of total and utter chaos with everything that is happening in Albany right now. In the midst of a state shutdown threat I am further disappointed to hear that nobody spoke up for the arts in the democratic Assembly conference committee yesterday!

I urge you to please call your members or their chief of staff and tell them that you heard nobody is advocating for the arts and so you want to remind them of the job and program losses they will face in their district should the 40% cut to NYSCA be approved.

Not sure who exactly you should call? Use this tool here to put in your zip code and find out!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let your voice be heard!

As I posted previously Governor Paterson has proposed a 40% budget cut to the New York State Council on the Arts which is an amazing organization that makes grants and helps funds arts organizations around our state. This devastating budget cut inevitably means a severe cut, or even the demise, of your favorite art organization in your town. It's really very tragic.

So today I hit the pavement and walked around downtown Rochester handing out postcards I had printed from the NYSCA website urging people to simply sign, post mark, and mail the postcard to their appropriate legislator. It really is that simple for the voice of the people to be heard!

16,0000 emails have already made their way into our leaders' inboxes but the decision has yet to be reversed. We must keep up our fight and tell Albany that a 40% cut to the arts is not ok!

Here is a link to the postcards. Please feel free to join in the fight and pass out these cards at any performance, class, reading, work, or gathering you may go to. Let your voice be heard!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two weeks until Albany!

"Two weeks until the pageant. (Breath.) I was practicing my talent, (Breath.) finishing my costume, (Breath.) brushing up on current events, (Breath.) and running 18 miles a day on about 400 calories. (Breath.) I was ready." -Drop Dead Gorgeous

(sorry I just had to....also two weeks?! Boy, that came fast!)