75th Annual Platform Convention for Youth-in-Government
On Friday, October 19, 2018, 70 O’Neill Students participated in the 75th Annual Platform Convention for Youth-in-Government at Minisink Valley High School and Middle School. The students were split into two “political” parties for this convention, the People’s Party conducted its session in the Minisink HS auditorium and the Citizen’s Party convention was held in the Minisink MS auditorium. The Platform Convention gives the students a taste of how political parties implement policy change. Each party was split up into committees that proposed policy change and then voted on the “best” policy change from their committee, afterwards the “winning” proposed policy was presented to the entire convention. The committees were State, Local, Foreign Policy, Economic, Social Services, and Environment.
O’Neill students from both parties researched their respective policies and proposed numerous changes to existing policies among them were; defense iniatives against North Korea and its’ nuclear arsenal; housing for senior citizens and low income families; environmental protection and reusable energy sources; and regulation of sports betting and the casino industry. Several of the O’Neill planks (proposed policy changes) were passed through the committees and then were adopted by the entire legislative sessions of each party. The students were able to see firsthand how legislatures in Orange County, Albany and Washington, D.C. operate and learned about the pros and cons of our representative governments and how the political process works.