4-H Know Your Government group goes to Olympia

by Izie Janecek and Sofia Fleming

The Orcas Island 4-H “Know Your Government” went to Olympia from Feb. 17 to 20.

Know Your Government is a part of 4-H, designed for teens grades 9 through 12. Each year one of four topics is reviewed. During the presidential election the Executive Branch is studied, followed by the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch and finally Politics in the Media. This is a great opportunity for any high school student in the community who is interested in knowing how our state is run.This year we studied the Legislative Branch. The participants acted as members of the House or Senate in order to pass laws going through the real Legislative Branch right now.

Helena Auger said, “Going to know your government allowed me to know more about how everything behind a bill works, and it made me realize that we all have a voice and that we can change things if we want.”

Starting in mid-January, the members of this group began to select bills, which they presented at the event. Participants Tashi Litch, Helena Auger, Sofia Fleming, Anwyn Thompson and Emma Thoron choose the Orca Protection Act which they felt they had unique ability to represent.

Participant Emma Thoron said, “I’m very glad that the orca protection act passed in our mock legislative session because I believe that Orcas should be protected from capture and there should be increased patrolling of boats around whales so that we can give Orcas their best shot at healthy lives.”

Participants Arla Sutton, Izie Janecek and Martha Lum chose the Carbon Tax because of their interest and passion for the environment.

Says participant Arla Sutton, “KYG was an amazing experience. I came away from it after only 4 days knowing so much more about how are government system works and I feel like now I can really advocate for what I believe in.”

We rely on community support to attend this event, we would like to thank our generous sponsors who helped us attend. We are looking forward to going again next year!