CHEERS to the Plattsburgh Area League of Women Voters for its perennially successful Meet Your Legislators event.

For five years now, league members have hosted a forum where area high-school students have a chance to get a look at the mechanisms of Albany from the people who know it inside out: our state legislators.

Sen. Betty Little (R-Queenbury), Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) and Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) all participated in the 2015 event, standing before a packed house at Peru Central School to explain how the legislature works and how bills are proposed and passed. They talked about the rewarding aspects of the work they do and also spoke frankly about their frustrations with the political system.

The local League of Women Voters (which includes men, by the way) is very active throughout the year, sponsoring election-time forums and numerous educational events.

The Meet Your Legislators forum is especially noteworthy, we think, because it gets young people involved in an important aspect of governmental operations.

It's obvious from the feedback the Press-Republican hears from attendees every year that the Meet Your Legislators forum is enlightening and successful.

Two students who attend are also chosen each year for an expense-paid trip to Albany for a first-hand look at state legislators in action.

All other leagues in New York sponsor an essay contest to choose which students go. That used to be the case here too.

"For quite a number of years, Students Inside Albany were chosen on the basis of essays written on governmental topics, as suggested by the State League," Plattsburgh Area League of Women Voters President Sally Sear Mack explained.

"Since the competition, like all college applications, was for later high school students — who were already up to here with essays — we began to experience a notable shortage of essays from which to choose."

So longtime league leader Betty Ann King came up with the idea of using a lottery-style system to choose students, which earned the local branch an award from the New York State League of Women Voters for "thinking outside the box."

Peru Central School also deserves a cheer for its role in the annual Meet Your Legislators forum.

As Sears Mack explains, the school "happily lets us use the enormous environment without charge and with a lot of janitorial and tech assistance.

"Not only that, Chris Mazella, principal, is there and also provides us with student hosts/hostesses and a general atmosphere of caring," she added.

"There are always lots of signs so people know where to go, the place has lots of doors and other amenities to ease the whole affair."


— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, contact Editor Lois Clermont by calling 565-4148 or emailing letters@pressrepublican.com

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