Senator Jack M. Martins was at Manhasset High School recently for “Pizza and Politics” with the Student Senate. Pizza and Politics is an event Senator Martins started with student governments from high schools around the Seventh Senate District. Senator Martins and the students discuss various issues in government over a couple of slices of pizza, courtesy of the Senator.
“The students can ask me anything on their minds. Hopefully, I can provide some insight for them. But also, their questions help me in my job since it gives me the opportunity to discuss what is important to our young people who are our future leaders” said Senator Martins. “I want to thank Manhasset High School and the Student Senate for having me.”
Students ask a multitude of questions about serving in the State Senate. One question asked for Senator Martins’ opinion on hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves extracting natural gas from rock. Senator Martins feels there is not enough information on the safety and believes that environmental concerns have to take priority over any economic benefit.
Another student asked Senator Martins if he ever sacrificed personal feelings to vote with the party. Senator Martins explains that he votes the way that best serves the residents he represents. When voting on a bill, Senator Martins said he considers the impact to the communities he represents and then to the state as a whole.
Another student asked if it was difficult to work across the aisle. Senator Martins said that, in his first legislative session, he was able to work well with both sides of the aisle. He worked well with both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate as well as the Assembly and Governor Cuomo. Senator Martins mentioned in particular how well he has worked with Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.
Senator Martins also discussed the state budget with the students and how legislators had to make difficult decisions this past legislative session in order to reduce expenses to match the state’s revenues.
“The questions the students asked were indicative of their interest in government. They were fantastic. Our future is in good hands,” Senator Martins said.
Student Senate Representatives for 2011-12 are: Griffin Hyde, Eva Lewanhowski, Saydi Akgul, Paige Pacent, Anam Chaudry, Brian Herbert, Baldwin Mei, Shreesham Mukherjee, Stefan Pate, Rebecca Delman, Chris DiPreta, Dan Meyer, Cate Clinton, Adiel Rothstein, Vivian Liu, Frank Driscolo, Priscilla Tsun, Emma Klainberg, Paulina Parsons, Nicole Kiprilov, Catriona Whalley, Susannah Roberts, Mary and Evelyn Michalos, Julia Comerford, Susannah Roberts, Yeon Joo Lee, Mike Riscia, Jack Overlander, Max Johnson, Shivee Gilja, Madeleine Schwab, Anam Chaudry, Alexandra Golway, Michelle Chyn, Shatavia Thomas, Vassoula Georgio, John Furlong, Christopher Fu, Regan McCooey, Caroline Keogh, Hunter Dong, Austin Wong and Bradley Harmeyer.