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SAAS Youth Legislature Delegation 2020-21

Photo of the Washington State Capitol Seattle Academy SAAS Youth Legislature Delegation 2020-21

In May, a total of 150 students from 15 delegations across the state participated in the YMCA Youth Legislature state session. Out of a total 100 bills, 40 made it out of committee and onto the Senate and House Floors. Of those, Seattle Academy students were pivotal in getting 4 of 6 bills passed out of committee. A final 17 bills passed in both chambers and were signed by the Governor.

Our school was represented by a delegation of 6 SAAS students who served as State Officers, Senators, and Representatives in the House. They brought the heat with 6 proposed bills, which left an imprint on this year’s state session. Advisors Steve Retz and Rachel Leavitt-Baron were model leaders supporting the group’s efforts.

State Officers:   Ally Pfau ’22 | Assistant Attorney General

  Fiona Bor ’21

  Charlotte Jennings ’22 | Committee Vice-Chair

Representatives in House:

  Nina Mesiwala ’22
  Rahni Singh ’23
| Outstanding Representative in the House Award
  Freddie Slade ’24

The work that passed the committee was cutting edge, pertinent, and well presented. Four bills were passed out of committee—2 onto the Senate floor, and 2 onto the House floor: 

1.  Fiona Bor ’21—Senate
        Bill: Making composting and recycling mandatory for public schools.

2.  Charlotte Jennings ’22—Senate
        Bill: Decriminalization of possession of controlled substances relating to addition. 

3.  Rahni Singh ’23—House
        Bill: Diversifying educational institutions and creating steering committees.

4.  Freddie Slade ’24—House 
        Bill: Making Election Day a national holiday.

“With Ally Pfau (22) serving as an Assistant Attorney General, Charlotte Jennings (22) in the role of Committee Vice-Chair, and Rahni Singh (23) as the recipient of the Outstanding Representative in the House award, the SAAS delegation had an outsized presence at the session.  Not only will they all be ready to return as veterans next year, Charlotte was also elected as the President Pro-Tem of the Senate for next year and will serve as one of the top elected offices in the state.  We are already excited for next year with the hope that we will be back in the Capitol building to do the people’s business!” - Steve Retz, Youth Legislature Advisor

“Like so many other activities during the 2020-2021 school year, the Youth Legislature state session was online via Zoom,” explains Steve. “Although we were not at the state capitol and in-person, the week’s events felt remarkably like they normally do, and it was a testament to the delegates’ passion for civics and participation in our process of government.”

It is written into our mission statement and engrained in our curriculum—boldly contributing to a changing world is important to our sense of identity, both as a school and as individuals. Contributing to policy and law is not only a route to future careers, it is also a straight path to direct impact and change.

We are extremely proud of our school representatives and their proposed bills, and all of the hard work produced by our delegates and advisors this year.

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