Summer Jobs Field Trip to Boston’s City Council Chambers

The Summer Jobs students participated in a mock City Council meeting this morning.

The Summer Jobs students participated in a mock City Council meeting this morning.

This morning, an ordinance filed by the Mayor about a curfew for young people under the age of 17 was hotly debated in the Boston City Council Chambers. The Commission on the Affairs of the Elderly, the Association of Main Street Businesses, the Mayor’s Youth Council, and Pediatricians for Peace presented their positions to the City Council Committee, which after deliberating, voted against the curfew for teenagers.

Surprised you didn’t hear about this issue in the local news? Don’t be — this was an enrichment exercise for the BBA Summer Jobs students, who debated a pretend ordinance to learn more about the legislative process. Larry DiCara, a partner at Nixon Peabody and former president and member of the Boston City Council, led the session and gave the students a firsthand look at how City Council makes decisions. We asked Larry to discuss the value of the seminar:

DiCara, Lawrence“Young people need to understand the importance of the legislative process. They also need to be aware of the role which interest groups play in advancing the passage of legislation. Playing the role of the Commission on the Affairs of the Elderly might not be easy for high school juniors, but is essential to their grasping how democracy works.”
 
 
 
After the seminar, Beyond the Billable caught up with a couple of students after the session to hear about their experience.

David Lozano, a rising senior at Boston Latin Academy and intern at Nixon Peabody, played the Council President.

Lozaro_David“I think it was really cool to use the room. Even if the mock City Council meeting was not real, it is a good representation of what really happens. Debating the issue showed that City Council’s decisions aren’t based on one person’s position but that decisions are based on a lot of deliberation.
 
 
 
Julia Pan, a rising junior at Boston Latin Academy and intern at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, provided a spirited performance as the representative for the Commission on the Affairs of the Elderly.

Pan_Julia

“[The enrichment seminar] was really interactive and I liked that I got to participate throughout the session. Larry really engaged all of the students.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are a few more highlights from the morning:

Cynthia Peguero, a rising senior at Jeremiah E. Burke High School and intern at Shaevel & Krems, presented the position of the Association of Main Street Businesses to the City Council Committee.

Cynthia Peguero, a rising senior at Jeremiah E. Burke High School and intern at Shaevel & Krems, presented the position of the Association of Main Street Businesses to the City Council Committee.

After hearing from the different interest groups, the City Council Committee discussed their opinions on the ordinance before voting.

After hearing from the different interest groups, the City Council Committee discussed their opinions on the ordinance before voting.

Next week, the students travel to another offsite enrichment seminar at the Supreme Judicial Court.