By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Move over, Marty Golden! There’s a new state senator in Bay Ridge. Meet Alex Pellitteri, who plans to come up to the state capitol in Albany within the next few weeks and make himself comfortable at your desk.
The Bay Ridge Prep seventh grader isn’t old enough to be a senator. Come to think of it, he isn’t old enough to vote.
But that isn’t stopping him from making his mark in politics. While Alex hasn’t won an election, he has won the right to be a state senator…for a day. And he has Golden’s blessing to take the job. Alex was the grand prize winner in the 11th Annual Senator for a Day Essay Contest sponsored by Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn).
As the first place winner, Alex won a trip to Albany for himself and his Bay Ridge Prep class. The kids will get a first-hand look at how state government operates.
Alex and 16 other students from around Golden’s senate district competed in the finals, held May 31 in the community room at Shore Hill, a senior citizen apartment house in Bay Ridge. The contest was open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. The students read their 250-word essays aloud before a panel of judges that included Laurie Windsor, president of the School District 20 Community Education Panel; Joel Garson, editor of Our News; Marc Hibsher of the Home Reporter and Sunset News; and this reporter.
The essay topic, “If I Were State Senator For A Day, I Would…” gave the students the opportunity to make suggestions on how to improve the community.
The children were judged on the content of their essays and by their presentations at the finals.
In his essay, Alex introduced “Alex’s New Deal,” a set of proposals inspired by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s. Alex also impressed the judges with his forceful delivery.
The second place winner, Shannon Greene, a seventh grader at Saint Anselm Catholic School, earned a $200 US Savings bond. A $100 savings bond was awarded to third place winner Alexander Spinelli, an eighth grader at PS 207.
“Every year, the essays submitted for his contest get better and better,” Golden said.