Northwest NEWS

December 4, 2000


McAuliffe to host annual youth forum

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, is again providing a forum for teenagers to share their thoughts on issues that most affect them from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, at Ricketts Auditorium in Bothell.
   The meeting is designed to get students talking about state government legislation and the policies that affect their lives.
   "This is always such a terrific event," said McAuliffe. "I get to learn so much about what's on the minds of the young people in our area. It's important for me as a legislator to make the time to really listen to what they have to say. They deserve to have a voice in crafting public policy - particularly policy that affects their daily lives."
   The Bothell senator is looking for comment on several topics.
   Discussion on school safety issues, state testing (the WASL), the new senior project graduation requirement, and increasing youth interest in government are all on the night's agenda.
   McAuliffe also will allow time for participants to bring up any other issue that they think the Legislature ought to consider.
   The event serves another purpose; it helps McAuliffe encourage students to apply for her You(th) Count! Council, an advisory panel comprised of area teenagers that will work with the senator throughout the coming 2001 legislative session.
   "The youth advisory group, You(th) Count!, is such a great opportunity," said McAuliffe. "Approximately 15 students form the council to learn about the legislative process, how to lobby for or against an issue, and how to get directly involved in their state government. Previous groups' efforts led to substantive changes in legislation. I'm excited to get the group started again, and I encourage anyone interested to apply even if they can't attend the forum."
   Applications for the You(th) Count! Council will be available at the meeting and are also available through McAuliffe's office at (360) 786-7600.
   Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend the meeting, as the senator is looking for diverse opinions.
   Adults are also welcome, but the point of the You(th) Count! meeting is to hear primarily from young people.
   Refreshments will be served.