Broward Students Present Possible Policy Plans

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Washington, DC, November 19, 2016 | comments

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Broward Students Present Possible Policy Plans

They may not have been in this country long but they are getting a great first-hand look at how this country works, and how they may soon influence policy here.

As part of the nationwide nonpartisan citizenship education organization Close Up Foundation's drive to promote responsible and informed participation in the democratic process, almost 300 Broward high school students that are part of the ESOL program presented their ideas to create legislation that could help improve situations which impact them.

The students in the program are all immigrants who have been in the country for three years or less but their presentations all required them to research an issue, show data to support their claims, then create hypothetical legislation which could help resolve the problem. Issues ranged from raising the minimum wage to dealing with violence at schools to easing conditions for doctors to practice medicine in Florida in order to alleviate the shortage of physicians compared to the population rise in the state.

"My favorite thing is to go out and listen to our students," said Broward School Board Member Laurie Rich Levinson. "Because they truly are the future and their ideas and their passion are what we need to pursue in this country."

In addition to representatives and adiminstrators from the Broward School Board and Close Up leadership, including the foundation's COO Eric Adydan, and local leaders including police officers and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

"What you're doing here is huge," central Broward State Representative Bobby DuBose told the students, who noted that a law passed during his first session in the legislature originated from an idea shared by an elementary school student in Brevard County. "Some of you may not be able to vote but what you're doing is a part of this process."

Many of the students presenting their ideas at Nova Southeastern University either have been or will go to the State Capital Building in Tallahassee to see how plans actually become policy and the various steps required to make an idea become law.

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