LaSalle High School students and history teacher get behind the scenes look in Olympia
'Our constitutional republic is a privilege to be a part of and it's something we have to protect, cherish and pass on to the next generation,' says Taylor
A teacher and two local students spent time in Olympia this week, guests of state Rep. David Taylor.
Matt Wood is a history and civics teacher from LaSalle High School. He joined students Amanda Kelley and Greyson Klebaum as they toured the Temple of Justice, attended a House Public Safety Committee meeting, watched debate on the House floor and were introduced to the House Republican Caucus.
Wood said he was struck by the openness of the legislative process.
“This process is so open,” said Wood. “Anyone can come watch testimony in committee hearings or watch debate on the House floor. I don't think we realize that back home. They really go out of their way to make it accessible for all.
“It's also an incredible amount of work to get a bill passed,” continued Wood. “An idea must go through tremendous layers before becoming law.”
“It was eye opening,” said Klebaum. “We hear about this in class and it gets explained to us, but it's very different to experience it firsthand. We learned a lot. I especially liked visiting the state Supreme Court.”
“Being interested in politics, this was a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Kelley. “Watching things in action is always different than just talking about it.”
Taylor, R-Moxee, continued his tradition of having students and teachers visit him from district. He personally puts them up in a hotel for a night and usually takes them out to dinner and lunch to discuss state government, the legislative process and the students' goals. His office helps arrange tours and works to get the visitors a more behind-the-scenes look at how things work in Olympia.
“It's a pleasure to have students and teachers take an interest in their state government,” said Taylor, who has represented the 15th Legislative District since 2009. “It doesn't matter whether or not these students want a career in public service or public policy. What matters is that they leave Olympia knowing they have access to their elected officials; that their voice matters; that government of the people, by the people, and for the people still exists. Our constitutional republic is a privilege to be a part of and it's something we have to protect, cherish and pass on to the next generation.”
From left to right: Matt Wood, Amanda Kelley and Greyson Klebaum join state Rep. David Taylor at the rostrum on the House floor.
From left to right: Rep. David Taylor introduces student Greyson Klebaum, teacher Matt Wood and student Amanda Kelley to the House Republican Caucus in the state Capitol Building.
###Washington State House Republican Communications