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C-SPAN’s 50 States Tour lands at UAlbany

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As the C-SPAN bus appeared before UAlbany’s journalism students this past Monday, people were gleaming with excitement.

After a yearlong trip, C-SPAN completed their 50 States tour with the University. The tour was designed to reach middle and high schoolers, as well as college students in hopes that they would become informed as to what their news outlet is really about.

C-SPAN’s marketing director, Janae Green appeared in front of Thomas Palmer’s Digital Media class and gave a short presentation on how C-SPAN functions.

University Professor Thomas Palmer stood proudly as he watched his students enter his class before Ms. Green’s presentation started. Everyone arrived “dressed for success” and gave their full attention to the presenter ahead.

After the PowerPoint, Ms. Green led the class to the C-SPAN bus waiting patiently in Collins Circle. As the students stepped through the doors of the high-tech bus, they were greeted by Democrat Representative Paul Tonko.

“This is crazy. We were noticed by a major network…” said Liam Jefferies, a freshman at the university.

After being asked to do an interview for the C-SPAN website, Mr. Jefferies was asked who he wanted to see in Congress.

After some consideration he said, “Democrats, definitely. More specifically progressive democrats.”

As the class listened in on Tonko’s speech about how he represents his district, he spoke about what he believed to be major issues that need to be addressed in New York. These ideas ranged from opioid addiction, mental health, net neutrality, refinancing on schools, and climate change.

“When there is a wrong that needs to be right, bring it to our attention. The structure of the house is by committee. I serve on energy and commerce. It is both national and international which includes healthcare.”

He stated how he thought it was important that people vote so the democrats can take the seats that now holds republicans. To make his bill on opioid addiction aid pass, he needs the full support of the house.

Janae Green had time to speak after Tonko’s speech and she was happy to talk about how the tour was going on overall. “We wanted to take the bus to each community, talk to their elected officials, and get the voices of the communities heard,” said Green.

We decided what better time than now to engage with leaders, students and teachers about politics in this day in age. We started in D.C. and then after that there wasn’t a specific order. Were imbedding ourselves in the history of each city and talking about it.”

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