May 27, 2024
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May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

MTA Sophomore Lobbies in Albany

As a sophomore at MTA, I spent my winter vacation in Albany meeting with state senators and assembly members to discuss the opioid crisis. I made his first trip to Albany as an eighth grader to lobby for anti-bullying legislation. Since then, I have made many return trips, accompanied by my parents, to push for legislation that I feel is important. On this trip, I met with Washington Heights Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa, Senator Robert Jackson and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. I also attended a senate session, which began with my father, Rabbi Stuart Verstandig (YC ‘80, FGS ‘83, RIETS ‘84), delivering an invocation reflecting on how the Ten Commandments of leadership coincide with parshat Yitro. I had the honor of meeting newly-elected Senator Anna Kaplan (SCW ‘85 and CSL ‘90) on the senate floor and was also introduced on the assembly floor by my local Kew Garden Hills assemblyman, Daniel Rosenthal. I watched our government in action, as the hallways of the Capitol building were filled with lobbyists and protesters due to the signing of multiple bills by Governor Cuomo. I hope to pursue a career in politics one day and appreciate the opportunity to continue learning about how our local New York State government works. As founder of MTA’s New York Political Action Club and an intern at Yeshiva University’s Office of Government Relations, I share my experiences with my fellow students as part of MTA’s civic spirit curriculum.

By Sam Verstandig (‘21)

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