Young people’s advocacy saw two major results this year. We are thrilled that UTEC’s and Teens Leading the Way ‘s campaign for juvenile expungement became law in April. And we are equally pleased to report that our years of advocacy for a civics education bill became a reality last Thursday when signed into law!
Nine years ago, a group of young adults asked the question: “How can we help MORE youth get civic engagement experiences like we’ve had through programs such as TLTW and UTEC?” That was the start of their push for civics!
We were honored to be in the room with Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and some of those same young adults for the signing of a bill that provides opportunity for all students to learn civics, both in the classroom and in the community. There was lots of support along the way, including receiving the following editorials (the first one dating back to 2011)!
Thanks again to Governor Charlie Baker for signing S2631, ‘An Act To Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement’ into law. Many thanks also to the leadership of House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka and legislative champions Senate President Emerita Chandler, Senator Chang-Díaz, Rep. Peisch, Rep. Dean Campbell, Rep. Vargas (a former TLTW member!) and former Senator Moore. Thanks for recognizing citizenship as a verb!

From the Governor’s Office

From the Governor’s press release : UTEC’s CEO, Gregg Croteau, said, ” Through the experiences of these young people, we have seen firsthand how such involvement can truly uplift their community engagement for the many decades ahead. That’s what this bill seems to be all about.”
” This bill shows that youth can play a direct role in government ,” said Teens Lead the Way youth organizer Stephanie Bellapianta.   Read the full press release.

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Source: Lowell Sun