Senator Martins Holds Listening Session With Elmont Memorial Students

Jack M. Martins

October 20, 2011

Senator Jack Martins took his listening tour to Elmont Memorial High School today where he met with students in an AP Government class about issues that impact the greater Elmont community. The session was a question and answer period that focused on the State budget, health care, education and taxes. Martins was greeted at Elmont Memorial by students Jeffrey Cadet, Elijah Ross, Ben Odugbesan and Daniel Alexander.

Over orange juice, donuts and bagels, Senator Martins engaged Elmont’s next generation of leaders on important issues of the day that impact Elmont community neighborhoods. The session is part of a series Martins has held throughout the community. Previous sessions have been held at Sewanhaka High School, community leader meetings, college leader discussions, civic groups and the Elmont Chamber of Commerce.

The session at Elmont Memorial was held “Town Hall Style” where students asked questions of Senator Martins in a free flowing discussion where no topic was off the table. Justin Andrews, Dyani Dawes and Candice Chatterpaul opened with questions on taxes, the state budget and education funding. Senator Martins engaged the students by not only answering the questions, but engaging them on their opinions. “The questions being asked were the tough ones. This session talked about issues that have a real impact on communities and will determine the future of development and quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Senator Martins.

During the session, students discussed the Belmont Jobs initiative and plans being discussed about economic development in the south lot of Belmont Racetrack. During the discussion, students engaged on the process and timeline for development. In addition, a focus was placed on “what they would like to see” in their community in terms of economic development.

“The ideas and opinions that were shared were right on point,” said Senator Martins noting, “it’s refreshing to hear directly from our young people who have such an important stake in these issues.”

After the session, Senator Martins met with Principal John Capozzi and toured parts of the school engaging with students.