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Date: Oct 27, 2010
Renew NY High School Issues Convention tackles tough state issues
Former state Senator and Homeland Security Chief Michael Balboni will be keynote speaker
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY - Nearly 100 high school students from across Long Island will gather at Hofstra University on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 to discuss and debate critical state issues, and devise reform proposals that will be presented to a panel of experts from journalism, academia and government.
The Renew New York High School Convention - "Considering New York's Structures and Challenges" is the culmination of an intensive summer program in which teams of students from a diverse group of Long Island high schools - Summer Fellows - spent several weeks digging into five major issues, conducting independent research and interviews to develop issue briefs on each. For more information about the Renew New York Summer Fellows program go to renew-newyork.com
These teams of students, along with a teacher/mentor, have spent the fall preparing their classmates for the day-long issues convention, which will bring together the summer fellows and 10 students from each school. During the convention, students will spend the morning in smaller groups hashing out reform proposals on each issue before presenting them to the expert panel in the afternoon. The convention will be moderated by three Hofstra professors who have served as program coordinators for the Summer Fellow initiative: Michael D'Innocenzo, Andrea S. Libresco and Bernard Stein.
The convention is part of a partnership between News12, Newsday and Hofstra University called Renew New York that is aimed at educating New Yorkers about issues of concern and encouraging civic engagement. In the spring, Renew New York hosted a panel with state leaders, and released a poll that gauged New York voters' attitudes towards state government, the state budget crisis and the upcoming elections.
"Hofstra is a trailblazer in not only revitalizing civic education but also in enriching the experiences of young people as they prepare to lead this country in the future," said David Mathews, president of the Kettering Foundation, an independent, non-partisan research organization focusing on public policy and the democratic process. Earlier this month, the foundation invited Professor D'Innocenzo and one of the Renew NY teacher-mentors, Adeola Tella of Uniondale High School; to deliver a presentation about the program to other educators.
The High School Issues Convention will kick-off with a keynote address from former state senator Michael Balboni, a Republican with a history of bi-partisan cooperation who was appointed by a Democratic governor to be New York's Director of Public Safety in 2006. Balboni, who served 18 years in both houses of the State Legislature, is now principal of Cardinal Point Strategies, a government relations and strategic communications firm.
Students participating in the issues convention will come from nine local high schools: Floral Park Memorial High School, West Babylon High School, Hicksville High School, Malverne High School, West Islip High School, Uniondale High School, The Wheatley School, H. Frank Carey High School, and Westbury High School.
The issues they will tackle are: Bi-cameral vs. Unicameral Legislature, Legislative redistricting process, State funding of education, Election Day, the Judicial system: Appointments and compensation.
The student groups will present their reform proposals for feedback to a panel of experts that include Editor Rita Ciolli, Editorial Page Editor of Newsday, Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies® at Hofstra University and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.
About Hofstra University
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students' interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.
About News 12 Networks
News 12 Networks is proud to be a cable exclusive service, currently reaching nearly 3.8 million households in the New York market. News 12 Networks is the country's first, largest, and most watched 24-hour local television news network. The Network is made up of 7 individual local news channels serving the areas of Long Island, New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, Westchester County, the Hudson Valley, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. News 12 Networks is owned and operated by Cablevision Systems Corporation.
Newsday, one of the nation's largest daily newspapers, serves Long Island through its print editions and its hyper-local web site, newsday.com. Each week, seven out of 10 Long Island adults read Newsday, which has earned 19 Pulitzer prizes and numerous other awards. Newsday is part of Newsday Media Group, which also includes ExploreLI.com; amNewYork, a widely circulated free daily serving New York City; and Star Community Publishing, the Northeast's largest group of weekly shopper publications. Newsday is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation.