Senator Martins Holds Town Hall Meeting at the Polk Street School

Jack M. Martins

January 9, 2012

Discusses How a Bill Becomes a Law

A packed gymnasium at the Polk Street School was the scene this past Friday, where State Senator Jack Martins held a “Town Hall Style” meeting with the entire 5th grade on how a bill becomes a law. The session had students asking Senator Martins about his work as a State Senator that represents Franklin Square as well as sharing their ideas on the Franklin Square community. The meeting, according to Senator Martins, was “a great way to hear what’s on young people’s minds and listen to their hopes and dreams for the future.”

The session opened with Polk Street School Principal Mr. Torossian introducing Senator Martins and students listening to a presentation on “How a Bill Becomes Law” in New York State. Students engaged Senator Martins during the sessin and talked about ideas they had to make their community safer. Ideas ranged from no cell phone use in cars to security guards at parks. Additionally, students also asked Senator Martins about his work in the New York State Senate and his priorities.

During the session, students answered questions about how government works and the different branches. The question and answer format hoad students actively engaged with Senator Martins with him answering questions and posing questions right back at students. The format was lively with hands going up constantly and dozens of students discusing their ideas.

Senator Martins then walked students through how their ideas can become legislation and then are voted on in the New York State Senate. Superintendent of School Mr. Manley also participated in the session as well as teachers and Assistant Principal Mr. Riccobono.

“The questions and input the students at Polk Street School talked about during our town hall meeting were insightful. It’s obvious they spent a lot of time thinking of their ideas and discussing them in their classes. It's clear they had a lot of fun participating in the session and so did I,” said Senator Martins.

The session concluded with a surprise for the entire 5th grade. During the recent holidays, the 5th grade classes raised funds to assist needy families in the Polk Street School community during the holidays. Senator Martins presented the classes with special New York State Senate Citations thanking the classes for their hard work. During the presentation Senator Martins thanked the students noting, “what all of you did during the holidays made a real difference for Franklin Square families. You showed everyone the true meaning of giving and what Polk Street School is all about. You cared.”

At the end of the session, students lined up to talk with Senator Martins and continue their discussion with some students wanting write him letters on their suggestions.