Last night, I along with a room full of students and community members were treated to a forum of local candidates. St. John’s University hosted candidates ranging from Republican candidate for State Senate Peter Koo to United States Representative Anthony D. Weiner who made a brief appearance to an adoring crowd before leaving for a flight down to D.C.
At the forum were Congressman Weiner, a representative from Congressman Meeks’ office (who is a St. John’s Alum) State Senator Frank Padavan, his opponent Councilman James Gennaro, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, her opponent Peter Koo, Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Assemblyman Weprin.
The night began with an exchange between the representatives from the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign. The questions centered around how their respective candidates would change the way the country was run. From the crisis on Wall Street to the role of women and even as esoteric as the capital gains tax.
The panel brought up a question asking about jobs for graduating college students. Eventually Peter Koo was asked and he had a piece of advice to students, “if you are offered a job, take it.” He then started talking about small business and that became the quote of the night. Everyone started talking about their support for small business.
The focus then shifted to keeping kids in school and furthering their education. Senator Stavisky replied with something which I didn’t expect. “With all due respect, not everyone needs to go to college.” She cited her experience teaching at Thomas Edison Vocational High School. It seems she was saying that while she obviously wants students to go to college and further their studies, we do need the laborers of the future. Some may not see college as for them and we should not be critical of them, rather help them in their studies, either in training schools or programs of some nature.
A college republican on the panel posed a question to Peter Koo which drew an outburst from Assemblyman (more…)