New Paltz 8th grader wins ‘If I Were Mayor, I Would …’ contest

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Loyer, right, with judges Mayor RuthAnn Loveless, Village of Hamilton (left) and Mayor Svante Myrick, City of Ithaca,

ALBANY – Sofia Loyer, an 8th grader at New Paltz Middle School, was chosen as the winner of the 2019 New York State Conference of Mayors “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” essay contest, the association announced.

Loyer’s essay was picked from over 1,100 submissions NYCOM received from students across the state describing what they would do for their city or village if they were mayor. The purpose of the contest is to educate students about local government and encourage civic participation. Loyer received her award at NYCOM’s Annual Meeting at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown.

“If I were Mayor, I would implement measures to help and prevent the issue of drug addiction and start a campaign to beautify the Village of New Paltz,” Loyer wrote in her essay. (A copy of her full essay is attached.)  She would implement funding and education for early drug prevention, enable the use of cutting-edge drug detection and open a drug rehabilitation center for those in need. Her plan would also include a beautification campaign by creating “free painting zones” on the walls of the rehabilitation center for patients, as well as encourage business and building owners to commission and allow artists to paint murals on their walls.

Adina Sasson, an eighth grader from the Village of Pelham, won second place in this year’s contest for her essay about the environmental dangers of gas-powered leaf blowers and her plan to ban their use. In third place was 8th grader Maggie Sansone from New York City, whose essay focused on creating equal educational opportunities for all children through providing additional funding to lower income area schools.

“The judges were impressed once again with the creative and thoughtful submissions we received for the ‘If I were Mayor, I Would…’ contest,” said Peter A. Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director.  “Thank you to everyone that participated this year. Hearing ideas from our future leaders on how we can improve our local governments is an important reminder of our mission to make New York a better place.”