My 11-year-old son recently attended a San Luis Obispo City Council meeting (for a Boy Scout merit badge requirement).
After hearing several people address the council during public comments, he overcame his fear and brought his speakers request card to the clerk.
Alas, public comment time ended as he walked up.
But fear not! Mayor Jan Marx kindly took note of the request and called him up.
Council members listed actively as this nervous youngster made a pitch to help Camp French, and council members elicited additional useful information from him with their attentive questions.
My son felt fabulous and empowered. What a great first civics lesson our City Council gave him. I could also see the pleasure on many faces in the room as they watched this young citizen speak his heart and receive respectful attention.
Before we left, the police chief also came over and introduced himself to my son. It was a perfect experience. Thank you, City Council and Stephen Gesell!
PS: Thank you to the generous member of the audience who handed Chris a donation for Camp French.
PPS: To continue serving the youth of this county, Camp French urgently needs money. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org about donations.