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Thursday, November 14, 2013

AP US Gov't and Politics Class Experience How Politics Really Works

Ms. Kaplowitz and members of the class with NYC Public Advocate Leticia James
It was quite a week for the members of Ms. Kaplowitz's AP US Gov't and Politics class. On the Friday before Election Day, they were invited (by Flatbush parent and prominent lawyer Steven Cohn) to a major political breakfast for members of the New York Democratic Party. The breakfast presented an opportunity for the students to experience the inner workings of the political processes they are studying. At the breakfast, the students were able to interact with leading politicians, judges, and political consultants, asking questions and engaging in conversation with politicians.
Students with Assemblyman (and Flatbush parent) David Weprin
A Kosher stand at the restaurant also provided the students with the opportunity to interact with Jewish members of the Democratic Party and Jewish politicians. Students interested in politics seized this initiative to discuss how to become involved in politics, why politics matter, and how a Jewish identity is infused into politics.
AP Gov't and Politics class members with NYS Comptroller Tom Di Napoli
The breakfast was an exciting opportunity for all who attended. There, the students got to meet and greet elected and appointed officials like Bill De Blasio, Tom Di Napoli, Scott Stringer, David Weprin, Leticia James, and many others. Students had a chance to question officials on current and future public policy, network with judges and politicians, and secure opportunities for internships.
Former AP Gov't class member Josh Fitterman with Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio

2013 AP Government and Politics Mock Election Debate. (from right to left: Ms. Kaplowitz, members of the AP class, and Phoenix reporters)
The following Tuesday, the class wrapped up it's two month long mayoral 'mock election' with two debates in our newly renovated auditorium. Since September, the Poli Sci students have worked hard to recreate the election; researching the positions of the real candidates, registering voters, making flyers and posters, creating and giving polls, producing and showing their own TV commercials, and now finally, the two candidates squared off against each other. Bill De Blasio was played by Shira Cygler and Joe Lhota by Jacob Setton, but all members of the class worked hard to make this a success. The project ended with a full day of voting--giving all Flatbush students an opportunity to express their political views. The annual project was a great success; it served as an opportunity to educate the general student body on the important issues of the day, and to teach the AP Gov't class a valuable 'real-life' lesson on how politics really work.
Members of the AP Gov't class, as well as Juniors and Seniors watch the debate with interest.