Saturday, July 7, 2012

Model Congress XIV March 31 - April 2, 1978

Held at New Rochelle High School, in Westchester County, New York
photos taken with my Minolta, Sunday, April 2, 1978

Model Congress XIV March 31, 1978

Fellow Legislators:

As we convene our 14th annual Model Congress, I feel it is important to look in retrospect at our founding ideals in order to properly set our goals for the future.

In recent years, with the radicalism of the sixties a mere memory, our nation has shied away from critical self-analysis and has embarked on a new course, one of complacency. This is not merely the ideology of the masses but also of our most powerful leaders. Perhaps this is due to a fear of strong government, so widely exemplified in our post Watergate era? The cause is immaterial; its cessation is of primary importance.

Our nation depends on rapid socio-industrial advancement for its economic base. How, in a government filled with proponents of laissez-faire, in a government afraid to take strong action because of a past generation’s unfounded fears of monarchial democracy, can we maintain ourselves as a bastion of the free world? Indeed, it seems the people who love democracy fear the only means for its continuation in our complex times.

You are the leaders of tomorrow, you are the generation of politicians that will be the deciding force of our great nation’s final status. As students of our government, you must learn the necessities and ideals for a democracy such as ours. You must learn the procedures of a legislature and the dealings of compromise. But most of all, you must learn not to be afraid of strong political idealism and leadership; indeed, you must propogate it.

Good luck and good debating.

Steven Sugarman
Miranda Olshansky

Russel and Angel

House of Representatives Republican Party

William P. Clarke - founder of NRHS Model Congress at far left
Steve Sugarman speaking next to Ari Rothman

1st Place Speaking Award Winner
Senate Republican
* Covington & Burling

New Rochelle High School
April 2, 1978

The school's Model Congress Club is the oldest and longest running high school level model congress in the country.

Model Congress originated at New Rochelle High School in 1964 when faculty advisor William P. Clarke sought an extracurricular outlet for bright students not engaged in sports.[16] Richard Nixon was the guest speaker at the club's first mock presidential convention in 1964.[16]

The club is focused around debating issues through the use of bills and parliamentary procedure. The club becomes a delegation when it debates in foreign congresses, both college congresses and those associated with the United Model Congreses. Each year the school holds a Model Congress weekend, hosting "foreign delegations" from other schools.

Model Congress, being a macrocosm of the government in Washington D.C., with the NRHS Model Congress XIV my first Model Congress, made the weekend of March 31 - April 2, 1978 my earliest portender of Washington, D.C. political dynamics.

Other Model Congress events I attended were one at a high school in Connecticut - IIRC the Edwin O. Smith H.S. in Storrs, CT - in the fall of 1978, the subsequent New Rochelle Model Congress XV, and that at Fordham HS in April 1979.

Jane 1971

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