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Ecke YMCA teens learn legislative ropes

CARLSBAD — Youngsters got a feel for the democratic process when the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA’s Youth and Government Delegation hosted a Bill Hearing Night Nov. 16, in the Carlsbad City Council Chamber.
Teen delegates from the local community presented legislative bills they had written in hopes of creating positive change in their surrounding community.
The bills were written in preparation for the California Youth and Government Model Legislature held in Sacramento this February. More than 85 delegations and 2,400 youth representing YMCAs from around the state will be participating in the Model Legislature and Court. Delegates will actually be using the real chambers located in the capitol and employing real processes in the week-long mock legislature.
“Delegates typically strike a balance between finding topics that are interesting, debatable, and good for the community,” advisor Catriona Macdonald said. “They usually steer clear of the hot ticket items we hear come up every election.”
Past Youth and Government writings have influenced actual legislation, and the most popular bills from this year will move on to be presented to delegates in hopes of becoming bills in their own right.
The annual conference allows participants the chance to delve deeper into the part of government that most interests them; the program includes a Judicial Program with Trial, Jury Trial, Appellate, Judicial Review, Supreme Courts, special programs including lobbyists, legislative analysts and more.