Back in high school, the Model Congress program was the unrivaled focus of my extra-curricular activities and had a pretty big impact on my decision to enter public life.  So when I was invited to say a few words at the opening session of the 50th annual New Rochelle High School Model Congress weekend – of course, I said yes.

I’d intended to offer a quick “hello, congratulations, and good luck” – similar to my usual 10 second address at the High School’s commencement exercises.  (It’s been my experience that politicians routinely overestimate other people’s interest in hearing from them, especially at school events, and that the best speech is the shortest speech.)

When I got to the podium, however, something prompted me to break my rule and offer a little more.  There’s nothing new in my speech – I’ve said almost all of these things before, especially during last year’s County Exec campaign.  But I never strung the thoughts together in quite this way, and this little speech, clocking in at seven minutes, ended up being about as close to a personal mission statement as I’ve delivered.