What would you say if the City Council gave you five minutes and a soap box?
Students from across the five boroughs of New York City had just this chance. On November 20, 2003 students testified in front of the City Council on such important issues as: Gun Control, School Security Cameras, and Student Health and Nutrition.
Created by Teaching Matters, Election Connection helps students to inform, change, and sway public opinion. Students study and debate current issues, collect and analyze polling data, write persuasive testimony, monitor media coverage, participate in a Town Meeting, and ultimately cast their votes online. 1,600 students took part in the program and 260 were chosen to participate in the Town Meeting and voice the opinions of their peers.
Chancellor Joel Klein capped off the event with an inspiring keynote speech: “These kids are getting an opportunity to learn about democracy first hand…we are at the beginning of a frontier in the integration of technology as a support for our teachers and our students and I think that Teaching Matters is at the vanguard of that movement.”
Teaching Matters Board Chairman Elizabeth Rohatyn and Council Member Eva Moskowitz hosted the Town Meeting that took place at Con Edison. Over the course of the program, students worked to research issues, political stances and online poll data.
Students voiced their opinions by voting online against school security cameras (38% pro, 62% con) and for more regulations on guns in the city (68% pro, 32% con).
In attendance of Election Connection were: New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Council Member Charles Barron, Council Member Christine Quinn, Council Member John Liu, Council Member Albert Vann, Council Member Simcha Felder, Council Member Eva Moskowitz, and Council Member Philip Reed.
Sponsors and Partners:
New York City Council