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Government & Politics

Teenagers Visit the Ohio Statehouse for Mock Government Program

photo of YMCA Ohio Hearing Room
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

High schoolers from around Ohio are taking over the Statehouse – visiting it as part in a mock government program to get a first-hand look at how policy is made.

The House Chamber is full of teenagers filling the chairs of lawmakers, where elected officials vote yes or no on important legislation every week.

The teenagers are part of the Ohio YMCA Youth and Government Program, where high schoolers gather at the Statehouse to play out what state government looks like.

Their governor, Ishmael Cody-Harvell, says young people are not the future of government, they’re the present.

“If we can get young people to realize how important their voice is in our political system then that’s how we can go forth in making comprehensive changes to our government and fixing the things that are wrong,” he said.

The mock youth government will hear bills proposed by fellow teenagers, their first piece of legislation: mandatory family leave.