Upper Mohawk Valley GenUN Visits Claudia Tenney’s Office

By Marisa Medici, Member of the Upper Mohawk Valley GenUN Chapter of the

UNA-USA; Secretary General of the 2018 Upper Mohawk Valley United Nations


On August 25, 2018 four members of the Upper Mohawk Valley GenUN chapter met

with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney at her New Hartford office to discuss the

importance of the United Nations internationally as well as within our local community.

From left to right: Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, Sydney Henderson, Marisa

Medici, Grace Zhang, Braedon Nanna

After learning that one of the items currently being discussed in Congress are decisions

to fund the United Nations and its various specialized agencies, our GenUN members

took the initiative to meet with the Congresswoman to help her understand the

tremendous value of the United Nations locally, nationally, and internationally. Support

for UN funding has become more relevant and controversial due to the Trump

administration’s nationalist foreign policies and actions regarding the UN such as:

withdrawing from the United Nations Environmental Protection Committee, the United

Nations Human Rights Council, and the Paris Agreement, to name a few. Further, there

has been even more concern on the possibility of lessening involvement in international

cooperation and the international community.

GenUN met with Congresswoman Tenney with the intentions of bringing awareness to our program in support of the United Nations, the Upper Mohawk Valley Model United Nations Conference, and the Upper Mohawk Valley United Nations Association. Through these aspects we were able to introduce local, small scale initiatives being taken in the community that Congresswoman Tenney is representing in hopes that there would be a vote opting to keep the budget as is for the 2019 fiscal year on behalf of the members of the NY-22 Congressional district.

While meeting with Tenney, GenUN members were able to receive refreshing insight

into the current congressional discussions regarding the United Nations. GenUN

representatives learned that Congress, as a whole, have been taking measures to ensure

that the United States is aware of where the money is going in respect to each faction of

monetary distribution throughout the United Nations. One of the major concerns is

that the monies paid by the US into the UN general fund are able to be monitored

strictly for designated committees, associations, and agencies. Congresswoman Tenney

also mentioned that only a small percentage of representatives desired to cut funding to

the United Nations. Each of these examples is not only reassuring to the success of local

UN related initiatives, but also ensures that the measures taken within Congress are

truly for the greater good of the United Nations and the notion that the United States

will continue its involvement as a leader of global good in the international community.

Although Tenney didn’t explicitly state what she foresees herself favoring, she seemed to

convey that the budget of the UN was of minimal concern for Congress compared to

other pressing United Nations related topics (e.g. complications with peacekeeper

behavior and bureaucratic interference in foreign affairs). Tenney’s outlook on this

situation seemed to fall in line with the Trump administration's attitudes on the United

Nations and it seems as though this is the attitude of the majority of the representatives

in Congress on the matter.

Members of GenUN thoroughly appreciated the nearly two hour meeting with Tenney,

especially considering they only anticipated a brief half hour meeting. They found

Tenney to be personable, knowledgeable, and excited to learn more about our local

advocacy and initiatives as she asked a number of insightful questions to fully

comprehend our intentions for the meeting with her. She included many anecdotes of

her personal advocacy, the knowledge she has gained throughout her career through her

travels, and her long term involvements in the international community. The Upper

Mohawk Valley GenUN chapter found this comforting knowing that the individual

representing our community is not only involved in domestic politics but international

politics as well. This was essential due to the fact that the NY-22 district is so wholly


Meeting Congresswoman Tenney not only provided insight and answers to some current

concerns regarding the United Nations, but also gave GenUN an opportunity to

introduce the representative to events/initiatives happening in the community in

support of the ideals of the United Nations and how the decisions made around the

United Nations affect our local community. We thank her for her time and hope that

she brings our support of the United Nations, it’s initiatives, and its values with her

when the time to vote comes before her as she sits in Congress.

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