Senator Martins Welcomes Students to Annual Somos Conference

Jack M. Martins

April 04, 2011

Senator Jack M. Martins attended and opened the New York State Session for the annual Somos El Futuro conference. Martins joined with Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson for the session.

SUNY and CUNY students had the opportunity to get a first-hand look  at  the  historic  seat  of New York State government as they conduct their  own  mock  session  on Saturday afternoon. Video of the mock session will be posted to the NYSenate YouTube account for viewing online.

On Saturday, April ,2 Senator Martins and Senator Peralta  (D-Queens)  welcomed the participants to the Somos Conference.

The  Somos  Conference  is  the largest gathering of Puerto Rican and Hispanic  civil  and  political leaders in the state and is instrumental in advocating  for  the development and advancement  of legislative action that impacts  the Hispanic community in a positive way. Highlighted by lectures, workshops  and  other  educational  tools,  the aim of the conference is to create  opportunities  for  Hispanic  New  Yorkers  by engaging them in the public policy process.

This year’s theme is “Está en Nuestras Manos: Achieving Hispanic Empowerment.” The conference ran from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3.

Approximately 70 students participated. Senator Martins, the son of Portuguese immigrants, became the first Republican to visit the conference in the 15 years it has taken place.

"It was an honor to be a part of Somos El Futuro and to share this very special day with our next generation of leaders," said Senator Martins.

Students who attended the conference at the State Capitol debated specific pieces of legislation in the New York State Senate chamber as part of the conference weekend.