It was an afternoon of pizza and politics at The Wheatley School as Senator Jack M. Martins visited the high school to have pizza and discuss politics with the student government. The students and Senator Martins had a discussion on a multitude of issues from healthcare to the environment to the state budget.
Some students were concerned about negative impacts to the environment as Senator Martins discussed hydro fracking, a process that is being considered to extract natural gas from shale upstate. Although proponents bring up the potential economic benefits of the process, Senator Martins shares the concerns of many community members who are worried about a potential negative impact to the drinking water.
“Unless we are absolutely certain that there is no danger, we shouldn’t let economic benefits trump safety,” he told the students.
The members of the student government who are interested in perhaps going into public service in the future wanted to know from Senator Martins why he decided to enter the world of public service. Senator Martins explained that he ran first for trustee and then mayor in the Village of Mineola because he didn’t like the direction the village was going in. After serving a year as trustee and then eight years as mayor, he ran for State Senate since he didn’t agree with the direction the state was going in.
“There has to be a reason you want to run for public office. It should be because you want to enact positive change,” Senator Martins told the students.
Senator Martins thanked the students for their input. “These discussions are a tremendous benefit to me because they allow me to know what is important to our young people here in the Seventh Senate District. I thank The Wheatley School for allowing me to meet with the students,” he said.