By KAVI K. AHMED, age 11
The 2013 mayoral elections are approaching. On Tuesday, November 5, decisions that affect citizens all across the country will be made. In cities such as Fairbanks, AK, Plainfield, IL and New York City, voters are concerned about who will be next to govern their town. So you may ask yourself, “What is so important about mayors and how do their actions in office affect my family, friend and me?”
Mayors have many different jobs and responsibilities. They must appoint the heads of important departments such as the police and fire departments. Mayors also vote on and create laws that should make the city a better and safer place. They decide how the city spends money on education, transportation, parks and housing.
The mayor must work long and hard to be elected. They must have good ideas and strong leadership. One example of such a mayor is Fiorello H. LaGuardia of New York City, who was elected for three terms, from 1934 to 1945. The morning after his election, he said, “New York City was restored to the people this morning at one minute after midnight. It is my duty from now on to guard and protect and guide the complete, peaceful and undisturbed enjoyment of that possession.” In other words, a mayor must be ready to do the best for their city.
In times of crisis, mayors are especially important. After the Great Depression, LaGuardia helped get New York City back on its feet. He built roads, funded public housing and constructed parks. We should hope that the mayors elected in 2013 throughout the nation have all of these qualities and more.