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Congressman visits local youth

Christine Ina Casillas
Mark Udall stands outside of his new Minturn office located at 291 Main Street. Udall held a press conference to discuss his wilderness proposal for the White River National Forest.
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High school juniors and seniors will be able to participate in the youth task force that is aimed at getting students more involved in government, said Lawrence Pacheco, a spokesman for Udall.

“It’s a way to provide an opportunity for young people to gain some exposure,” Pacheco said. “It’s an opportunity for them to have their voices heard on certain topics that concern them.”



The congressman, who is based in Boulder and represents Eagle County, will listen to the students concerns at the Battle Mountain High School library, Udall said.

“Every year, I invite high school students to participate in the task force with the purpose of helping young people in my district become more engaged with their government,” Udall said.



Pacheco said Udall has been interested in helping kids since he was first elected in 1988. But Udall’s interest in youth began long before his time in the government, he added – it began during Udall’s days with Outward Bound, a program that takes kids on hiking trips and other outdoor adventures.

Udall’s group meets once every three weeks to discuss topics of interest to young people so they can learn to influence legislation in Congress. The meetings, which often feature guest speakers, are held on the Front Range and in the mountain areas of Udall’s district.

More than 40 people attended the Front Range meeting last week.



“I created this program to give the young people whom I represent the opportunity to get an inside look at our nation’s capital and to explore the rewards of public service,” Udall said.

Every spring, Udall hosts a summit in which 10 task force members join him in Washington, D.C. to meet with government leaders. Students who joined Udall at past meetings met Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, among others, Pacheco said.

“It gives youth a renewed sense of responsibility and that they can actually make a difference in the community,” he said.

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at ccasillas@vaildaily.com.


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