Students spent a day at the Hawaii State Capitol learning the bill-to-law process, reading legislation, and exploring the capitol grounds. Meeting and talking candidly with legislators helped students to view politics—and politicians—in a more complex and nuanced light. It was a powerful experience that emphasized the need for global citizens to be aware of the world’s increasing complexity and to engage in the democratic process.
“I feel so much more motivated to get involved. Before I didn’t know we could have so much impact on government, but now that I know, I will take advantage of that opportunity.”
"This day was eye-opening, particularly because I had never questioned my parents’ political opinions but now feel further inspired to establish my own.”
“Not only do the politicians seem more human, they also seem more approachable.”
“I didn’t realize how much work and dedication it takes to be a politician and they really inspired me to care about the community surrounding me.”
· Presentation on how a bill becomes law by the capitol’s Public Access Room (PAR).
· Exploring the capitol website. Students researched their legislators and read bills from past sessions.
· Capitol Scavenger Hunt. Students visited their legislators’ office and explored the capitol grounds.
· Mock Legislature. After reading several bills from past sessions, students participated in a short activity designed to illustrate power dynamics and the party system in Hawaii’s legislature.
· Legislative Panel Discussion. Representatives Della Au Belatti and Matthew LoPresti fielded questions and discussed their experience in the legislature.