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Teens Become Lobbyists at WSU 4-H Conference, Feb. 13-16 in Olympia

PULLMAN, Wash. — Over 250 Washington state youth will take on the roles of lobbyists at the annual Washington State University Extension 4-H Know Your Government Conference in Olympia, Feb. 13-16 at the Red Lion Hotel.

Teens will lobby for and against active bills being considered in the legislature in mock committee hearings.

“Our youth delegates will learn that most bills are the result of compromise and negotiation,” said WSU 4-H State Teen Leadership Coordinator Jan Klein. “They’ll be working with other teens to realize that democracy requires responsible citizenship, participation, and teamwork to be fully involved and effective when lobbying for change.”

Saturday, Feb. 13, Greg Williamson of OSPI will address the delegates at 6:30 p.m. Williamson, the program supervisor for the Coordinated School Health program, works with students and professionals to create a Youth School Health Cadre. Legislative and lobbyist panels will convene at 7:45 p.m. Delegates will hear from former lawmakers and current lobbyists about their specific roles in the lobbying process.

Sunday, Feb. 14, at 6:30 p.m., Christine Swanson, will detail her experience as a lobbyist. Swanson manages government affairs for the Associated General Contractors of Washington.

Lawmakers will join the teen delegates at a Legislative Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Lt. Governor Brad Owen will address the group at 7:30 a.m.

The 4-H Know Your Government Conference is a hands-on educational opportunity for youth ages 14 -18. Over 75,000 youth participate in 4-H programs statewide in areas in areas including science, leadership, service learning, the arts, and technology.

For more information, visit the 4-H conference Web site: http://4h.wsu.edu/conferences/KYG/.

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(Note to media: 4-H participants will be coming from the following counties: Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clark, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, and Yakima)