Johnson to attend educational representative democracy seminar in Washington, D.C.

Program designed to encourage citizen involvement in government


Rep. Norm Johnson has been invited to observe and participate in a national professional leadership seminar designed to encourage citizens, particularly young people, to become involved in their government.

The 2009 Representative Democracy in America seminar will be held July 12-15 in Washington, D.C. The program is part of a professional development initiative launched in July 2008 to promote the use of extensive classroom curricular programs that teach students about the institutions and practices of representative democracy in the United States.

Johnson, a former teacher and administrator in the Toppenish and Mabton school districts, said he’s interested in learning more about the national program for possible use in Washington’s schools.

“This is a program created to teach students about the Constitution, its role in the lives of citizens, and the role we all should play as involved citizens in our representative democracy,” said Johnson, who serves on the House Education Committee. “Our young people will be the future leaders of our state and nation. I think it’s particularly important that we help the younger generations understand the importance of the Constitution, and what it means to each of us who lives in the United States, so they can be well prepared to step into that role.”

The program is sponsored by three organizations: Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University (CCIU), and the National Conference of State Legislatures. The initiative’s goal is to reach 100 teachers in each state.

The seminar will feature an address on Congress by former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, CCIU executive director. Results from a recent survey on the political attitudes of 14- to 24-year olds will also be presented. In addition, sessions will be conducted on how to train teachers to use representative democracy curricula materials.

Johnson, R-Yakima, was recommended for the seminar by Rep. Dave Quall, chairman of the House Education Committee.

“This is one of the nation’s most outstanding new programs on government education. I’m very interested to see how students in Washington can benefit from it,” added Johnson.

The 14th District lawmaker said the trip comes at no cost to taxpayers as his expenses are fully paid by the sponsoring organizations.

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For more information, contact: John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7257


Washington State House Republican Communications