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Youth voices heard thanks to Rep. Reichert
I’m writing to share my experiences with Congressman Dave Reichert’s Youth Board. Last year, as a student interested in policymaking, I didn’t hesitate to apply.
I initially thought this would be a Republican board; however, I noticed immediately the diversity present among the 20 members, who come from across the district, including both strong liberals and conservatives.
Throughout the year, we discussed public policy issues with the congressman in locations ranging from Issaquah to Enumclaw. By participating in these discussions and visiting different places, I feel we've come to understand better the opinions on both sides—by stepping into each other’s shoes.
But most importantly, this board is a channel for youth voices to be heard. The younger population generally is more open to new ideas and more willing to explore. Now as bitter partisanship permeates Washington, D.C., perhaps the nation’s solutions lie among the youth.
I applaud Rep. Reichert for creating this model board and encourage any high school student in the 8th Congressional District to join. If you live outside of the district, I urge you to contact your local officials to start their own youth council.
Johnny Xu, President, Congressman Reichert’s Youth Advisory Board, Bellevue