Last week the 78th Annual YMCA Youth in Government Legislative session unfolded in Boise. We are extremely proud of this program, as we believe it is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. We also believe it is more important and relevant than ever. It provides a hands-on experience, and not just on that weekend. Students work for the entire school year creating bills, prepping to run for offices, learning how to serve as lobbyists and sit on the Supreme Court, work in the media, and, in the end, run a mock legislative session. It is fascinating to watch and amazing to see how much they get done in just a couple of days. No disrespect to our official legislators who work hard as public servants, but we could all learn from these young people.
I did get to hear the Youth Governor, Addie Lutz from Grangeville, deliver her opening remarks. Every year I am inspired by the comments of the youth governor, but I must say I thought this speech was the best I have heard in the 28 years (my good friends and former YMCA Youth Governors, Phil Reberger and Mike McMurray, spoke before my time, and I am sure they were great, too) I have been attending the opening session. If you have teens or tweens at home, I encourage you to read this together. It is a powerful and important message and a plea to exercise one of our most precious rights and responsibilities: to vote!
Big thank you to Statewide Chair, the Honorable Judge Karen Lansing, and all of the advisors who give so much to this program. Thanks to the supreme court justices for being so supportive and active, and to Lawrence Denney, our Secretary of State, for welcoming these youth from all parts of our state.