Legislators coming to campus

By Thunderworld Staff

Meeting the people who represent us in government isn't an everyday affair. Being able to talk to them in a discussion setting is even more of a rare opportunity.

The Student Government is bringing state legislators to Highline for the Legislative Breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Mt. Constance and Mt. Olympus rooms on the first floor of Building 8 at 7:30 a.m.

This event is open to all and includes student roundtable discussions with the legislators.

Being that this is such a rare opportunity and because these are the same people who will make decisions that impact our lives as citizens and as students, it's important that as many students attend as possible.

Local government can only fight for our interests if we give them an idea of what those interests consist of, and even if those same lawmakers are already on your side.

The blue bubble of Democratic control in western Washington plays a part in shielding this area from some of the more shocking incidents, such as Nazis marching through the streets.

Without the high-stakes, in-your-face politics we see on the national stage, some of us become complacent when it comes to local issues.

While bringing students and state legislators together is a great idea to stave off political complacency, inviting students to speak to our local legislators seems to be more of an echo chamber of interests than anything else. They are mostly Democrats anyway.

That being said, legislators need to get as much direct influence from students as possible.

Young voters from 18 to 24 years old consistently have the lowest voting turnout compared to all other age groups and in a recent poll of Highline students, less than half were registered and even fewer planned to vote.

This causes our youngest demographic of voters to be underrepresented in the political arena.

With so few students politically active, it would make sense for the Student Government to gauge what issues are most important to the average Highline student in order to effectively represent their constituents while lobbying.

What we would like to see is for student governments across the state to take the great idea of influencing government officials in support of student interests and push it further.

All student governments across the state need to bring student interests before as many legislators as possible and, just as importantly, legislators who disagree with them when it comes time to lobby in Olympia... not just Democrats from college towns.

Politics is about changing minds and reaching compromise through reason, and we hope that's exactly what our student representatives will do.

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