Meet the New Elected Officials: ECR Mayor Corey Scheinfeld

  1. Why did you decide to run for your position?

Throughout my high school career, I have been fascinated to be a part of the largest student-run organization in the country. And as I became more and more involved with JSA, I aspired to become a part of that wonderful fact. JSA has given me a passion that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, so I ran to pass that down to others in the best way possible, while at the same time furthering my own experiences.

  1. Who were some of your JSA mentors who helped you become who you are today?

I would say I have been most inspired by three people. The current mayor, Armana Islam, the current governor, Kamren Parsa, and my close friend, Elijah Pomerantz, the current director of logistics. Each of these people has inspired me to join the ranks of those involved in our government and shown me the true meaning behind being a part of JSA. Besides this, they have all given me great values, ranging from hard work and persistence to love, kindness, and friendship.

  1. What was your reaction when you learned you won?

I was absolutely thrilled when I learned of my victory. Being mayor was not something I even dreamed about Freshman year, but there I was. It truly was an astonishing moment that I will remember forever.

  1. What will your main focus be for next year?

Well, there are a lot of things I want to improve in our region. I could talk on for hours, but I’ll boil it down to this: more participation during events besides overnight conventions. One-days, chapter-cons, and the up and coming debate nights are fantastic ways to keep the JSA experience constant throughout the year, and more participation will only increase the value of these experiences.

  1. Political Icon?

My political icon is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His leadership during such a tough time in American history is truly a great feat, and he is a model for all of our future leaders. His calm, knowledgeable tactics in dealing with hardship saved our nation, and for that, he deserves to be remembered throughout all of history.

  1. Favorite JSA memory?

Well, it’s sort of a continuous thing. At every single overnight convention since Fall State 2015 year, two of my friends and I would dance to Shake it Off at the party. It seems small, but just dancing and shouting the lyrics at the top of your lungs without a care in the world is something that has stuck with me all these years.

  1. Favorite movie or tv show?

The Office by far. One of my favorite ways to procrastinate and a hilarious show- it never fails to keep me laughing!

  1. Favorite musical artist

I wouldn’t say I have a favorite musical artist, I happen to be more of a fan of Broadway. Some of my favorite plays include Hamilton, Waitress, and Something Rotten.

  1. Favorite food?

Salad, because salad can be a combination of anything. Regular salad? Chocolate Salad? Pizza Salad? Who knows! The possibilities are endless.

  1. Favorite hobby outside of JSA?

Outside of JSA, I am very active in another club at my school, Hope from the Heart. In this club, we do different fundraisers to raise money for children with cancer and certain cancer organizations. It’s a great cause that is not only very close to my heart but important to me as well.

  1. Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is most likely US history. I love learning about the past and how our country has persevered through many obstacles to be the shining light of democracy it is today.

Meet New Elected Officials: NES Governor Derek Lo

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  1. Why did you decide to run for your position?

I decided to run for governor after hearing from many of your ideas and concerns in the state, and I want to combine them with my vision for the NES. I felt that these ideas, along with my extensive experience on both regional and state cabinets, as well as having served as a chapter officer make me qualified and prepared for this position. I also saw that the position of governor requires a strong work ethic and dedication to the cause, and that has also propelled me into running for governor, as I saw myself as one with those necessary skills.

2. Who were some of your JSA mentors who helped you become who you are today?

One of my JSA mentors was Adam Wolpert. A member of my chapter since his sophomore year, his encouragement pushed me to get more involved in JSA and seek out every opportunity available. His advice and support helped me a more confident, dedicated individual, both in JSA and outside of it as well.

Another JSA mentor was Nate Bradley. He and I served together on regional cabinet my sophomore year and ran against each other at the end of that year. His respect and warm personality are second to none and were unwavering, despite the fact we were opponents at the time. We both knew the region would be good hands. When I decided to run for governor this past winter, he immediately jumped on my campaign, offering his constant support and advice that I value so much. I am so grateful to him for teaching me several lessons on campaigning and life in general that have helped me so much.

Another JSA mentor was Alyssa Wang. My boss sophomore year, her incredible work ethic and dedication to JSA were unparalleled. She stuck to motto #NERBestbyFar, made me realized one’s ability to do anything they wanted to do if they gave it their all.

3. What was your reaction when you learned you won?

I was kind of shocked and tried to process everything at once. I was stunned at the overwhelming margin of victory. It made me so happy that people want to see the ideas my campaign team and I came up implemented. After having lost the NER mayoral race the year before, it was a bittersweet moment for me.

4. What will your main focus be for next year?

My main focus for next year is bringing up attendance numbers and increased communication and transparency within the state

5. Political Icon?

My political icon is Leung Kwok-Hung, a Hong Kong legislator, and social activist. He has fought for democracy and freedom of speech through civil disobedience and nonviolent protesting. As a Hong Kong-American, I look up to him as one who has taken a firm stance against the pro-Beijing government and remains committed to ensuring liberties and freedoms are not taken away from the people of Hong Kong despite having been arrested many times for protesting and burning the Chinese flag, and spending time in prison.

6. Favorite JSA memory?

My first time at a JSA event, NER Spring One Day 2015,  where I debated for the first time. Then, it like clicked for me. I realized that I had finally found the organization that I could dedicate myself to and get as involved as I wanted to.

7. Favorite movie or tv show?

The West Wing and Pride and Prejudice (1995 version)

8. Favorite musical artist

George Lam and Sam Hui

9. Favorite food?

Gyros and Pho

10. Favorite hobby outside of JSA?

Reading pretty much anything or Drawing

11. Favorite subject in school?

History, Economics, and Government

Meet the New elected officials: ECR Vice Mayor Patrick Burland

  1. Why did you decide to run for your position?

I decided to run for Vice Mayor in large part to a big push from my chapter. My Chapter President, Himay Dharani, and good friend Anisha Jain encouraged me to run and were very supportive of my campaign throughout the election. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my campaign manager, Josh Crow, who helped fire me up for the campaign and really help me get my footing.

 

2. Who were some of your JSA mentors who helped you become who you are today?

Among my JSA mentors are Celina Deng, Dan Boiller, Thomas Boutros, Jess Ahern, Karl Meekin, Himay Dharani, Josh Crow, Armana Islam, Cole Bruno, Roger Chen, Arielle Soldatanko and Claire Haupt. All of these wonderful people have helped me through my ups and downs and helped shape me to become the statesman I am today. Without them, it’s unlikely that I would be this involved and as passionate as I am.

 

3. What was your reaction when you learned you won?

I was extremely surprised. At no point in the race did I know which way the election was gonna go. And before the results were announced, my fellow candidates and I, knew that whoever won, our region would be in good hands.

 

4. What will your main focus be for next year?

My main focus for this upcoming year will be on keeping our existing chapters strong and to help them expand in their communities. During the campaign, I ran on implementing a new emphasis on civics and expanding Fight Apathy to the ballot box. These programs will not only help expand JSA but foster a passion for government and politics in countless more students.

 

5. Political Icon?

John Kasich. The Ohio Governor is my favorite politician. While I initially didn’t know much about him,  the more I heard, the more I liked.  And Governor Kasich’s best attribute is his integrity which is of a magnitude I can only aspire to one day have. Having gone to two of his town hall, campaigned for him in 3 states and keeping up with him post election; I can honestly say there is no person more qualified to be our President in 2020.

 

6.Favorite JSA memory?

My favorite JSA memory by far was at Fall State 2015 when I won my first gavel. The rush of excitement and applause I got when my name was announced was so quintessentially JSA and that moment is one of the reasons why when I’m not eating or sleeping, I’m twisting people’s arms to join JSA

 

7. Favorite movie or tv show?

House of Cards. Go watch it.

 

8. Favorite food?

Favorite food is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, though anything from Chik Fil A is a close second.

 

9. Favorite hobby outside of JSA?

 

Outside of JSA, I enjoy sleeping, eating and soccer. Though even when I’m not in JSA, I am still heavily involved in politics. Whether that be in local or state elections, I’m always trying to get involved in a campaign.

 

10. Favorite subject in school?

I have never enjoyed a class to the degree that I do for AP Gov & Politics.  If your school offers it I would highly recommend taking it.

Meet the New Elected Officials: NER Mayor Jessica Coulombe

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  1. Why did you decide to run for your position?

I decided to run for mayor because I love JSA. Being on cabinet, I had seen what was working and what could be improved in the region and I begun to think of the ways I could better the NER. As the year went on, it became clear to me that I wanted this role because I desired to make a change in order to help my region reach its full potential. I didn’t want to sit by and hope it would happen so I ran for mayor!

2. Who were some of your JSA mentors who helped you become who you are today?

My biggest JSA mentor is my very close friend, Liam Dewey. I have never been to a JSA convention without him and it is hard to picture how I’m going to do it next year. Dewey has allowed me to see my potential and has lead me to become the leader I am today. He showed me that it is okay to be yourself and share any and all ideas you have. He’s urged me to venture out of my comfort zone and without him I’m not sure that I would have even applied for cabinet.

3. What was your reaction when you learned you won?

When I learned I had won mayor I was both relieved and excited. Relieved because I had been waiting for the moment so long that I never thought it was going to come but then it finally did! Excited because the energy in the room was amazing and I just knew then that the next year was going to be a huge success.

4. What will your main focus be for next year?

My main focus for next year will be strengthening interest in activism and creating a larger, more solid region.

5. Political Icon?

My political icon is a bit dated but it is Benjamin Franklin. He was very ahead of his time, he was talented in so many different areas and he was overall an admirable person based on his values and his accomplishments.

6. Favorite JSA memory?

My favorite JSA memory is definitely my first time speaking at a debate and getting a best speaker award. It really drove me to get more involved after seeing that I could succeed at debating, which I never thought was possible.

7. Favorite movie or tv show?

My favorite movie is the Harry Potter series and my favorite show is Doctor Who.

8. Favorite musical artist?

My favorite musical artist is Florida Georgia Line or Sam Hunt.

9. Favorite food?

My favorite foods are chicken pot pie and apple crisp.

10. Favorite hobby outside of JSA?

My favorite hobby outside of school would be either running cross country or singing in my acapella/jazz choir group.

11. Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is history. Any type of history; US, European, Ancient, etc.

Happy Thanksgiving! From the Patriot

Something That I’m Thankful For:

JSA. Corny I know, but its the truth. The Junior Statesman of America is not just a club, for me its a bit more. I first joined JSA in the fall of my freshman year and since then it has helped fuel a passion which never ceases to bring wonder and enjoyment. And even in the most divisive and nasty of times, JSA has always been a counterweight as a place where politics and civics are the priority. Additionally, JSA has and always will be a collection of among the greatest people on earth. At the conventions and one days, I have been hard pressed to find a person I didn’t like. The people and experiences you have within JSA are unparalleled. I like many JSA’ers am always hyped for conventions and one days and am always disappointed when they come to a close.

Being more than just a club, JSA is not something that I am taking for granted. And as we put the election behind us and move into the holiday season, always keep in mind how lucky we are to have such a place to discuss politics, meet people and become more involved in the world around us.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!
– Patrick Burland, The Patriot

NER Fall One Day: Recap

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The first New England Region event of the year, the Fall One Day, was held last Saturday at Harvard University. The One Day, titled “Beyond the Ballot”, focused upon the upcoming national election and was one of the best attended events ever held by the NER. The day began with an opening session led by NER Mayor Nate Bradley and NER Vice Mayor Lucy Clarke. After that, each attendee was able to select one of four debates to participate in during the first block which included debates over school dress codes, if the Democratic and Republican parties should be able to nominate more than one nominee for president, the benefits of medical marijuana, and a thought talk about President Obama’s legacy.

After the first debate block, the whole conference met for the keynote speaker, Massachusetts Democratic State Senator Jason Lewis. Senator Lewis described how his childhood spent in apartheid South Africa served as an inspiration for him to get involved in issues of social justice. He also explained how as an adult he felt compelled to get involved in public service after witnessing budget cuts at his daughter’s school. Senator Lewis then took many questions from JSAers ranging from his opinion on Massachusetts ballot question 4 which would legalize recreational marijuana to who his ideal Republican presidential candidate would be if he was forced to select one.

Next, the second debate block began. The debates included discussions over the merits of digitized schoolwork, if green card holders should be permitted to vote, if Donald Trump is an accurate representation of the American people, and if the UK had a right to leave the European Union. After that, it was time for lunch. Students fanned out across Harvard square and enjoyed meals ranging from hamburgers and french fries to chicken and rice. Next, it was time for the activism block. This year, the main activism initiative is about mental health. Each student filled out a survey detailing their personal experiences and knowledge with mental health issues. Next, it was debate block three. The debates were about if Hillary Clinton committed any criminal actions as Secretary of State, if the government should stop collecting metadata, if the government should censor the internet, and a thought talk about if professional athletes should be required to stand for the national anthem. After the third debate block, the entire conference met again for a mock presidential debate. After an hour long debate over a wide range of issues, Hillary Clinton emerged victorious. Then, it was time for the fourth and final debate block. The debates were about Massachusetts ballot question 2 which would expand charter schools, if the 22nd amendment should be appealed, if the electoral college should be amended, and a thought talk about if America has always been great. By 4:00, it was time for the closing session. Mayor Bradley thanked everyone for their attendance and his own cabinet for their incredible work on making the One Day so successful. It is events like the 2016 Fall One Day that support the common saying among New England JSAers, “NER, best by far.”

ECR Fall One Day: Recap

by Patrick Burland
 
The first ECR one day of the year, “Beyond the ballot” was beyond a success. Students from across the ECR convened in Stuyvesant and opened the convention with a deeply moving keynote speech from Sarri Singer, a survivor of a terror attack. Singer, who survived a bus bombing in 2003 in Israel, spoke of her experience and resolve, emphasizing the importance of combatting terrorism and how everyone plays a role in striving to reach a future without it. While the keynote speech on terror did end, the discussion of the future of our foreign policy did not. Some of the featured debates that ensued were: Resolved, that Donald Trump is the best candidate for American foreign interests, and Resolved, that the United States allow more Syrian refugees. One of the most notable things about the One Day was not the resolutions themselves, but the debaters and how they conducted themselves.

[DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS] Topics for the debates ranged from money in politics, to political correctness, to the twenty second amendment and the college admission system. Contentious resolutions brought out the most diverse ideas and passion out of each of the debaters. And no matter the topic, the emphasis on the issues was stunning. Even in polarized topics like those about Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda or Donald Trump’s foreign policy, the debate centered more on fact than fiction. In addition to the civility and focus on the issues, debates like those with regards to the election and controversial issues helped give many debaters and JSAers the opportunity to be exposed to new perspectives and arguments which are not always present in the headlines.

The debates about Donald Trump’s foreign policy and the refugee crisis drew a stark contrast with the recent presidential debates. There was little interruption, no slander and a focus on policy and principle. The one assuring thing that came out of this election season will not be about the next four years, but about the next forty. (House of cards reference) JSA has fostered a love, passion and devotion to politics and government. We may not get the leader we want this election, but what is certain, thanks to JSA, is that we will never see a shortage of viable candidates in the future.