Every once in a while I find myself in a room surrounded by people. I know that sounds weird…but have you ever taken a moment to step back and look around the room in the middle of a meeting? The beings that are talking are people…live people. People who have thoughts, feelings, commitments, and interests. People who are intelligent and fascinating individuals. People who may come from diverse backgrounds, but align for a single purpose.
Tonight, it happened to be a room full of NY State Senators. You guessed it! I attended my first ever political fundraiser. It was in honor of New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, the Chairman of the New York State’s Senate Health Committee, and also my home-town’s district Senator. Needless to say, meeting him left me a little star-struck. I also briefly spoke with Senator John A. DeFrancisco (Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) as well as Senator William J. Larkin, Jr. As I spoke with these Senators, I realized how excited they were to meet with a constituent. I quickly realized the exorbitant amount of experience and knowledge packed into that one room. For example, Senator Larkin has been a NYS Legislator for 35 years. I would say that qualifies as a lifetime of experience! I was expecting the night to be a lot more politically charged and legislative. On the contrary, I walked away feeling a little humbled by some of our legislators and their knowledge. It maybe true that they are not experts in every field, but their collection of knowledge is impressive and remarkable.
Over the course of the last week, I have come to realize that our seasoned State legislators are tasked with accomplishing a lot in very limited time, and they are exceptionally well-read and intelligent. Nevertheless, they are once again limited by time to process information and reach a compromise. Is every legislator as experienced and knowledgeable? Absolutely not. But, it is encouraging to interact with the ones that are at the top of their game. I can only hope this trend continues through each generation of Legislators.