A Student Perspective: Local Government Comes Alive in Mock City Council Hearing

The BBA Summer Jobs students headed to Boston City Hall yesterday to hold a mock City Council hearing with former Boston City Council President Larry DiCara (Nixon Peabody LLP).

The BBA Summer Jobs students headed to Boston City Hall yesterday to hold a mock City Council hearing with former Boston City Council President Larry DiCara (Nixon Peabody LLP).

Guest Post: Jennifer Le is one of the Summer Jobs Student working at the Boston Bar Association. Jennifer recently graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy in Hyde Park and will be participating in the Foundation Year Program at Northeastern University next year.

I had an experience I could not forget at the Boston City Hall yesterday but it was even better to be able to share the experience with my fellow Summer Jobs interns.  Former City Council President Larry DiCara – who currently works at Nixon Peabody LLP – shared entertaining stories about his past experiences and how he got to where he is now.  He spoke about how he was technically Mayor for 2 days during a harsh winter years ago and discussed the difficult decisions you have to make when working for the government.

After his humorous wise words, he divided us in five groups to participate in a mock City Council hearing:

  • The City Council
  • Boston Senior Alliance—a group of senior citizens supporting the law
  • Pediatricians for Peace – a group of doctors that work with young people and support the law
  • Boston Teen Council—a group of teens opposed to the proposed law
  • Neighborhood Merchants Association—a group of small business owners against the law

The proposed law was “Effective September 1, 2015, it will be unlawful for any person under the age of 17 to loiter or remain in outdoors public places between the hours of 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM unless s/he is participating in an organized recreational or social activity. Persons traveling to and from employment and school shall not be subject to this curfew.”

I was placed in the Boston Senior Alliance Group, and each group discussed ideas and then one representative per group presented the group’s arguments. In my group, I was the person who wrote down all the ideas to oppose the proposed law.  After each group murmured their thoughts, it was time to present in the front of the City Council. It was amazing to hear all the thoughts of all the interns and the presenters, and how emotional they felt for this mock hearing. Imagine a real hearing! These students are so passionate and amazingly smart. It was a very wonderful experience to attend this fieldtrip!

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