State Senator Steve McClure, Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, State Senator Sally Turner, and former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar gathered at the University of Illinois Springfield on Wednesday as a part of McClure’s Youth Advisory Council program.
Over 100 hundred students representing 16 schools across the current 50th Illinois Senate District were on hand to hear directly from all of the lawmakers as well as Tiffany Mathis, a local community leader and the CEO & Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois about the importance of public service.
McClure says the event is all about getting the next generation involved: “When I was a kid, I had people to look up to in politics, in state government…Jim Edgar, Jim Thompson. It occurred to me that they were partially responsible for me wanting to get into public service myself. So I thought what better way to inspire kids to get more involved in state government and more involved in their communities than to have a meeting with them from kids from all over my district, all over the 9 counties I represent to talk about state government and how it works, let them pick the brains of some of their really tremendous servants. It’s really a meeting that was held to try to inspire kids to continue to serve their communities and maybe seek more ways to do that as they get older.”
McClure says the event returns after a 3-year hiatus due to Covid. McClure says the event was successful and he felt inspired by the students who attended: “I just can’t speak enough about the quality of all of the young people that live in our region that want to get involved. As I said to people at the time, it makes me inspired for the future of our state when we’ve got such great young people in the area that want to make a difference.”
Students were divided into groups to discuss current issues and government policies before conducting a mock legislative committee hearing. During the mock hearing, students assumed the various roles in the legislative process, including lawmakers, lobbyists, and concerned citizens.