Civic Engagement at the New Mexico State 2011 Legislature

The New Mexico Youth Alliance is a statewide advisory board comprised of youth representatives (ages 14-24), one from each legislative district. The NMYA was established in 2003 by the Youth Council Act, which enables state lawmakers and administrators to create and refine youth policies with input from members of the NMYA. NMYA is comprised of up to 112 youth members.

On January 25, 2011 members of the NMYA and other youth from across New Mexico gathered together at the New Mexico State 2011 Legislature to connect to our state officials and participate in our democracy process and politics by informing legislators about the importance of continuing to support the Youth Council Act and other initiatives that would aid in supporting positive youth development.  As the Youth Alliance promotes creating relationships with peers across our state and building relationships with our legislators, youth members have the opportunity in actively lobbying and advocating for interests that will support them.

Often times there are adults not familiar with our state legislature, and it is really profound that young people have this opportunity and hopefully youth that experience this will stay involved their whole lives. We definitely see the importance of youth and adults being involved of any type of political process, the learning that is involved is truly awesome. 

The New Mexico State Legislature is a complex process and being at the Roundhouse showed all of us the hard work time and effort politicians have to put in, in order to pass bills as well as how we can participate in this process. The NMYA does so many great things for youth and community and to advocate for a great cause, a program we see making a difference in lives, was a great honor an opportunity for us to give back to something we believe in.