The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Jeremy Gurgis:
2012 Winner
I.S. 227

Jeremy Gurgis

Winning Essay

I am Pro-Occupy Wall Street because I believe that the wealthiest one percent of the United States has too much power. The average American has no voice in how our country is run because of the influence of the wealthiest people. Large corporations and wealthy individuals such as Charles and David Koch get to decide how the country is run by buying off politicians. They give them money for their election campaigns which causes them to do what they are told. The largest banks in the United States such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, etc. helped to cause the economic collapse by giving mortgages to individuals they knew would be unable to pay. Yet the banks took their profits and ran, not caring about the consequences. But to this day, not one ban executive or Wall Street executive has been arrested or held accountable for the catastrophe they helped to create.

I would create a special commission to investigate how the economic collapse came about and then arrest those that were found to have broken the law. Then I would put a freeze on home foreclosures and force the banks to work out a deal with people to stay in their homes. Is it better that the homes are abandoned or that people that put their life savings into these homes remain there and pay what they could. I would then penalize corporations who took their jobs overseas. This would help reduce the unemployment rate greatly. I would raise the minimum wage to a livable wage such as $14.00 per hour so that people could afford to take care of themselves. Finally, I would introduce legislation to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision. This decision stated that corporations are people and therefore could contribute unlimited funds to candidates. As previously stated, this stacks the cards against the average American and unduly influences our public officials. This decision is one of the main reasons that we have such income disparity in the United States.

In conclusion, the people of the United States must continue to band together so that our voices will be heard. This is why Occupy Wall Street was created and must continue to thrive in order to ensure the future of our country for all people.


I am just a regular 8th grade kid growing up in Forest Hills. The things I love most in the world are baseball, the New York Mets, history and like my other family members, politics. It all started when my grandfather, who I wish I could have met, taught my mother everything she knows about politics. He told my mother that even those who are not rich should be valued in this nation and world. Just like the beliefs that the Kennedy family and the Roosevelt family shared. And with that, my mother passed those values to myself and my brothers. It is because of this, that I am truly inspired to become a politician. I want a profession where I can help people make a better life for themselves and their family. I want to be able to give a voice to the members of our society who can not be heard. It is because of past and present events, and my family, that make me the person I am today

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