By: Sam Verstandig (’21)

On February 27th, ten students from MTA’s NYPAC visited City Hall.  The club’s purpose is to bring students into the political process and help them learn how local government operates.  Along with Dr. Taylor, the club’s faculty advisor, the students attended an Education Committee meeting where they observed a hearing about the city’s Renewal Schools.  The group met Councilman Chaim Deutch, who came over to greet each student individually. City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of Washington Heights introduced the group on the floor of the chamber.  The highlight of the trip was a private meeting with Councilman Rodriguez, where he gave each student a personalized citation, a certificate of recognition, for being a member of NYPAC. He also spoke to students about the importance of getting a good education, pursuing dreams for the future, and bringing the Dominican and Jewish communities together in Washington Heights.  As a way to achieve this collaboration, the Councilman invited MTA students to spend time in the local elementary school tutoring and helping their students. Commenting on this idea, Dr. Taylor said, “He (Councilman Rodriguez) felt not only an obligation to meet with us, but he wanted our students to recognize your obligation to try and help the neighborhood. He paid tribute to the Jewish community, to the hard work of the Jewish community in raising its children and providing a good education and he wanted your input in making Washington Heights a stronger community.” After the meeting, Ms. Stephanie Miliano, Councilman Rodriguez’ Deputy Chief of Staff, took students on a tour of City Hall, and explained its history.  This was NYPAC’s first outing. The club is planning to bring speakers in to MTA as well as take more trips like this to see New York politics in action.


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