At the Monday morning assembly, the citizens of Boys’ State listened to two prominent guest speakers. Here’s what they had to say:
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara
In his speech, District Attorney McNamara told Boys’ Staters that they are the future generation, and need to set a new tone. “Politicians today are filled with hate speech” McNamara said, reminding everyone that both politicians and citizens need to use more intellectual debate in order to return to a more civil society.
When speaking about a case he decided to retry using DNA testing that resulted in the Defendant being released from nineteen years prison after being wrongfully convicted, McNamara charged Boys’ Staters with always doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. He wanted them to consider what they would do if roles were reversed.
After his speech, McNamara took questions from Boy’s Staters. When asked if he aspires to run for a higher political office, McNamara responded that he has not, adding that he loves his job helping people as a public servant. McNamara responded to a question about the current heated political climate and responded, advising the citizens to have thick skin because “people are going to criticize you, and you can’t always retaliate,” adding, “I hope the President starts to use his Twitter account to better this country.”
New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi’s speech clearly showed how any person can have a big impact on their state government. Starting as a mediocre student and not knowing what he wanted to do in life, Brindisi eventually found his passion for history, and decided to attend Sienna College. During the 2000 Presidential election, Brindisi “got bit by the political bug”, discovered his interest in politics, and decided to attend law school.
After law school, Brindisi began his career in public service, a career he has come to thoroughly enjoy. Brindisi started at nonprofit public defender firm. When he did not like how the state was neglecting poorer schools, he ran for his local school board. When he did not feel like he was making progress on the local level, he decided to run for state Assemblyman.
Brindisi offered some words of wisdom for Boys’ Staters:
- You need to be selfless to be a public servant.
- You need to listen to other people’s ideas to gain consensus. Talk to people from different places and get your news from multiple sources.
- You too can make your voice heard in politics! Get your friends to care about issues you care about and contact your government representative in numbers. It works!