On October 24th, 2017, Half Hollow Hills PTSA Legislation Committee hosted its annual “Meet the Candidates Night” event. Our district hosts this event every year before election day and invites all the politicians that are up for election that season. This function builds a familiarity between the politicians and the constituents. Members of the public, as well as HHH residents, can ask any question they feel is appropriate for the candidates.
Prior to Election Day, the Half Hollow Hills School District invites all politicians who are campaigning in Suffolk County and our local community. The event functions by allowing each politician to deliver an introduction, answer questions asked by the public, and then deliver a conclusion which emphasizes their goals, qualifications, and professional experiences. Each position has their candidates stationed along a row of tables in which the public is invited to have further discussion. Campaign buttons, bumper stickers, magnets, and other information are distributed to anyone who is interested. This event allows politicians to be entirely accessible to the public in addition to being able to address their concerns. Students can interact with the candidates and form new connections that can help them in the future. This event applies explicitly to those interested in a career in politics, those wishing to pursue a career in political journalism, and those wishing to become involved in other sectors of the journalism field.
High school students are at the point in their adolescent development where they can develop their own opinions and political ideals that they will believe to be true. By participating in this event, the community can obtain insight and awareness as to what is taking place on Long Island and in our local community. In my three years of being on the Legislation Committee, I can deem my experiences with past “Meet the Candidates Night” as both rewarding and valuable. By establishing a positive rapport with local politicians, I have a voice in sharing the concerns of high school students in the Town of Huntington (including those of High School West). My voice is heard by elected officials who represent us and who can make a difference in our schools and neighborhoods. Collaborating with politicians to improve education, safety, and other important topics is an essential and a valuable mean of communicating with elected officials who strive to make a difference.
Following this event, our community became informed; as a result, they were able to form educated opinions on each candidate. The residents of HHH and the public gained an understanding of each candidate and their political views. Some of the positions that were highlighted at, “Meet the Candidates Night” are as following: Suffolk County District Attorney, Suffolk County Sheriff, Suffolk County Legislature (16th, 17th District), Huntington Town Supervisor, Huntington Town Council, Huntington Town Highway Superintendent, Babylon Town Supervisor, Babylon Town Council, and Babylon Town Clerk.
The results of these elections are as followed:
Suffolk County Sheriff- Errol Toulon (D)
Suffolk County Legislature (16th District)- Susan Berland (D)
Suffolk County Legislature (17th District)- Tom Donnelly (D)
Huntington Town Supervisor- Chad Lupinacci (R)
Huntington Town Council- Mark Cuthbertson (D) & Jim Leonick (R)
Huntington Town Highway Superintendent- John Clark (R)
Babylon Town Supervisor- Rich Schaffer (D)
Babylon Town Council- Antonio Martinez (D)
Babylon Town Clerk- Geraldine Compitello (D)