Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and state Senator Joseph Griffo pledged the oath of office during a ceremony at Watson-Williams Elementary School in Utica Friday morning.
“I think the schools are an outstanding place to hold this ceremony, instead of reciting the oath in a courtroom we wanted to involve the students and let them know education will continue to be an important issue in the legislature this year,” said Brindisi, D - Utica.
“I also think it is notable the two legislators representing Utica and Rome can work together in a bi-partisan fashion on key issues such as education and economic development,” he added.
“Taking the oath in front of the young children is a very real way to symbolize our commitment to making the democratic process work, and to involve all of our future citizens,” said Griffo, R - Rome.
Before the ceremony took place students, faculty and the public joined together in the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.
Leading the oath was Utica City Court Judge Ralph Eannace, Jr.
Brindisi explained to students why the opportunity to take oath of office inside the school was so important to him. “For me this is like coming home since my first elected position was on the Utica school board. Education is very important to me and it will always be very dear to my heart,” he said.
After the ceremony Brindisi and Griffo made their way into the audience to speak to students and answer questions. During the session Griffo explained of how a bill becomes a law.
“First someone thinks of an idea and then it is drafted into a bill. After that, it is introduced to the Senate and Assembly. The two houses then debate the bill and vote on it. The bill will become a law depending on how the vote turns out,” he said.
Since Brindisi took office as assemblyman a year and half ago, he shared with the students he has sponsored 13 bills to the Assembly and out of the 13, 11 were signed by the governor.
One student’s question focused on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address and concerned the issue of gun control. Brindisi addressed the question by saying, “over the next few weeks were going to hear a lot about gun control and the overall goal is to create a law that will keep guns out of bad people’s hands.”
Brindisi represents the 119th Assembly District, which includes the town of Frankfort.