By Alexandra Milman and Aryaman Bahri
On May 29, 2019,, Representative Tom Suozzi came to South to discuss his platform in order to increase political activism among young people. Senior Jake Blancher, member of the Model Congress Club, was in charge of the entire event. Blancher interned with Tom Suozzi over the summer, and with the help of Mr. Madden, they brought Mr. Suozzi to South.
Congressman Suozzi’s first elected position was mayor of Glen Cove. He ran for Governor of New York in 2006 but lost. He is currently a representative for New York’s third district .
Congressman Suozzi, someone well versed in talking to crowds, discussed some of the issues facing our society today, like division between the major political parties. He emphasized the importance of participation in civics by asking students questions and giving out prizes for the right answers. Mr. Suozzi told the audience that in order to counteract the power of special interest groups, it is important that everyone participate in the political process by voting. He explained that most of the people who vote in the primaries are either far right or far left, and in order to choose desirable candidates, people in the middle need to vote.
Mr. Suozzi also explained that he is a Democratic member of a bipartisan coalition that develops bipartisan solutions for the many enduring issues in America, including healthcare, transportation, and gun violence. To help students understand why bipartisan groups are necessary, Suozzi provided several examples of the differences between the people on Long Island, such as himself, and his colleagues who come from different parts of the country. For instance, Paul Ryan told him about how his kids were off from school because it was the start of deer hunting season. This demonstrated the importance of his work in creating bipartisan solutions because people around the country have very different cultures, and it is incredibly difficult to get them to agree on legislation.
The time Tom Suozzi spent at South was extremely informative and interesting for South students. Congressman Suozzi described South students as “extremely bright, and definitely capable of creating change. The students, especially the ones [here] are ones who if they volunteer for campaigns, and get involved, can see actual change in government.”