SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - Mayor Al Smith and Tom Strowe, Project Coordinator for Redevelopment, spoke to members of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Chapter of Junior State of America (JSA) about downtown redevelopment on October 18.

JSA is a national organization that was founded in 1934. It was created by and for young people interested in what happens around them – from politics, to how government works, and contributing to their community. JSA has helped students build leadership skills, learn civil debate, and strengthen engagement through volunteering and activism. JSA has helped more than 500,000 students become active members of their community.

Mayor Smith and Tom Strowe accepted an invite from JSA leadership to talk with students about downtown redevelopment and the importance of being engaged with what’s happening in local government.

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“It was great to see so many young people interested in downtown redevelopment and local government,” said Mayor Al Smith. “The students asked informative questions, and I encourage more young people to learn more about what’s happening in local government.The decisions local officials make impact everyone, especially our young people who are the future of our town."

“As an alumnus of both Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and JSA, I was thrilled to see that it has continued to be a place where students can learn about public policy and debate each other in a civil manner,” said Tom Strowe. “JSA helped inspire me to pursue public service, and I hope more students will take advantage of this great organization.”

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