Over the past summer, many Bronx Science students experienced the real-life buzz of election season by participating in internships for New York City politicians.
This year’s Election Day will determine the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, and all 51 seats on the city council.
The main position which most Bronx Science students interned with was city council members up for reelection. City council members have an important job in their communities; they advocate for funding of schools, create laws for the city, and make overall improvements in their districts.
Karen Yeung ’18 worked on Councilmember Margaret Chin’s campaign over the past summer, stating her favorite part of it was canvassing, which included going through various communities in order to secure votes.
“I really liked the direct voter contact because I learned about the community and their concerns. I thought that was really unique because we’re so used to learning about politics, or learning anything in general from a traditional classroom setting,” said Yeung.
When Election Day came, Councilmember Chin (Democrat), an alum of Bronx Science, beat her opponent Christopher Marte (Democrat) by a mere 200 votes. Compared to the tens of thousands people who live in District 1, it is important to see that the direct voter contact that Yueng participated in could have gotten Chin those 200 votes.
However, canvassing is not the only way which Bronx Science students got involved in their communities through the election season. Both Alexia Frangopoulos ’19 and Janet Lee ’18 were field officers while interning with City Council Member Paul Vallone. Through this position, they recruited other high school students to canvass and campaign.
“I really liked the direct voter contact because I learned about the community and their concerns. I thought that was really unique because we’re so used to learning about politics, or learning anything in general from a traditional classroom setting.”
Campaigning was not the only way which Bronx Science students participated in internships over the summer of 2017. Max Porlein ’18, who interned with Public Advocate Letitia James, said that his favorite part about the internship “was being able to help the everyday citizen while learning about public policy and economics,” which is something that he would like to study in college.
Although some may think local elections are not important, it is crucial to get involved in your community and learn more about local politics.