The Town of Cutler Bay’s Youth Council Committee visited the state capitol in Tallahassee on Feb. 25 and 26, to see firsthand how policies are created and implemented. They were accompanied by Mayor Peggy R. Bell and Rafael G. Casals, town manager.
The committee members — Bryan Ruesca, Derricha Taylor, Pedro Rodriguez and Zoe Fundora — met with town lobbyists to learn about their roles in the legislative process, and received a tour of the Florida League of Cities building, along with a legislative overview.
Because the Youth Council Committee arrived in Tallahassee in the midst of the youth movement regarding gun reform, the committee members witnessed history as thousands of students, adults, and legislators gathered at the Capitol Building Courtyard demanding gun reform following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. State Sen. Kevin Rader, whose district represents Parkland, met with the committee members and discussed the process for action and reform. State Rep, Kionne McGhee also met with the committee members and shared his insight on the complexities of state government.
With the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives in session, the committee members were able to attend two subcommittee meetings. During each meeting committee members observed the process and protocol for discussing and creating legislation.
“This trip to Tallahassee was a wonderful experience for the next generation of legislators, elected officials, and city managers to learn about the operations of state government,” Mayor Bell said. “This was an eye-opening experience, as our committee members watched rallies for gun reform and change and gained a new perspective of their own civic duty and capabilities as future voters.”