Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Applications available for Legislative Youth Council

2009 Legislative Youth Advisory Council
If you're a teen, chances are you can't afford a lobbyist to represent your interests in Olympia, but laws passed under the Capitol dome have an impact on your life just the same.

Wanting to hear from Washington's young residents, legislators passed SB 5254 in 2005, which created the Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) to:
Examine issues of importance to youth, including but not limited to education, employment, strategies to increase youth participation in state and municipal government, safe environments for youth, substance abuse, emotional and physical health, foster care, poverty, homelessness, and youth access to services on a statewide and municipal basis.
In 2007, impressed with LYAC's great success, lawmakers passed HB 1052 to extend the program another two years. Finally, in 2009 they passed SB 5229, eliminating the program's expiration date.

LYAC is a 22-member council of 14- to 18 year-old students from across the state who serve two-year terms. Applications are reviewed by the Council and the Lieutenant Governor's office is in charge of making the final selection.

There are three to six annual meetings usually held in Olympia or Seattle and students are expected to attend all meetings and activities. Outside of the scheduled meetings, LYAC's members contact legislators to advise on pending legislation, draft letters and legislative reports, reach out to other youth and community organizations, and participate in Council conference calls.

This year's applications are due on June 25. Click here to download the Legislative Youth Advisory Council application.