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Friday Harbor Eco Club talk to Lovelett, Lekanoff, and Ramel in Olympia

PRESS RELEASE: Six local youth hopped into a van to Olympia to visit our state’s capital to learn about the legislative process (and have some fun, too!) Jess Newley, Friends of the San Juans' Community Science and Education Director, and Katie Fleming, San Juan County's Solid Waste Coordinator, accompanied the youth as part of their mentorship of the Friday Harbor Eco Club.

Friday Harbor Eco Club students meeting with Representative Debra Lekanoff and getting her advice on how to support and fund recycling and composting efforts in schools

40th District Representative, Alex Ramel, met with the students and gave them a personal tour of the House floor. Students shared their experiences growing up on the islands and their concerns for climate change.

After the visit, Representative Ramel said, “It was a lot of fun to get to connect with the students from the Friday Harbor High School Eco Club. It's inspiring to hear how much enthusiasm they bring for protecting our climate and the Salish Sea. I hope we showed them a little glimpse of how government operates and how we can work together effectively to make the world a bit better each day.”

Friday Harbor High School Eco Club students stand with 40th District Representative, Alex Ramel on the House Floor. 

In the afternoon, the group observed how bills are voted on and passed through the floor. An Eco Club student shared, "My favorite part of the trip to Olympia was being able to observe the law-making process in person, which was a lot more interesting than a School House Rock video! I learned about the bills that would affect our islands, community and wildlife."

In another meeting with Representatives Beth Doglio and Liz Berry, the students observed how county government officials interact with the state legislative process regarding budgeting issues and waste bills, such as the WRAP act. Representative Debra Lekanoff also met with the youth and advised the students on how to support and fund recycling and composting efforts in schools.

(Left) Friday Harbor Eco Club students writing postcards to hand deliver to the Senate, as well as a thank you card to Governor Inslee for supporting Climate Change Policy and the futures of our youth. (Right) Friday Harbor High School student, Ava prepares post cards to support state-wide education funding. 

Jess Newley and Katie Fleming mentor local island youth on San Juan Island and Orcas Island to inspire and educate them about the Salish Sea and the importance of the marine food web. “We want youth to leave our mentorship programs feeling empowered to create positive change in their community and ready to take on whatever challenges they may face in a climate-change-centric future! We are grateful for support from the Orcas Island Community Foundation and the Madrona Institute for this important work.” shares Newley.

Katie Fleming and Jess Newley with Friday Harbor High School Eco Club youth. It was a wonderful day at the state capital! 

Last modified onWednesday, 01 March 2023 06:46