My first day working for Unshackle Upstate I was told I was going to be “thrown into the deep end” so that I could get a grasp on my new work environment.  Over this past week, there have been moments where I have felt like Michael Phelps and other instances when I have felt like I was only keeping my head above water.  I have been immersed in new information concerning the politics of the state of New York, something I had never studied with much detail before.  As a nineteen year old, I had never been expected to know about free-tax movements or binding arbitration agreements…until now.  I have been educating myself about all of these issues so that I can do the best job possible, although I will be the first to admit I have a lot more to learn.

I am a novice in the world of politics, trying to keep up. As I research many new bills and issues, I find myself questioning how some problems have escalated so far.  The Scaffold Law does not seem extremely complicated.  I think it is fair to place responsibility on workers who have not been using common sense while working if they are provided a safe working environment; Apparently, so does the rest of America seeing as how New York is the only state who has not reformed the law.  However, it is not being passed due to opposition from Legislators, who may be making their decisions because of conflicts of interest.  It does not seem fair that a law that is in need of reform, costing New York businesses hundreds of millions of dollars, is being hindered by men trying to make their own profit.  Changes in New York should come from politicians concerned with the interests of the citizens of New York, not their own.

Before last week if anyone had asked me what my opinion on the Scaffold Law was, I would have given a blank stare; I’m only nineteen why should I care?  But these are important issues that all New Yorkers should be aware of.  This job is educating me not only on the politics of New York, but also giving me insight to my future as a New Yorker.  If I consider opening a business in the future, maybe I will look at property on or near colleges or universities so that I may profit from the START-UP New York program.  If I become involved in education, how can I reverse the fact that educational spending in New York is increasing while enrollment is decreasing?  The legislature of New York impacts everyone and I am grateful for an experience such as this, which will make me more aware and informed of these changes.  I am looking forward to exploring this mysterious, new pool of New York politics.

– Nicole Comanzo