What is with this amazing generation coming up? From the very esteemed Judy Meredith — congratulations and hearty thanks to Teens Lead the Way:
Thanks Hester, I have been working for almost 15 years with UTEC United Teen Equality Center in Lowell. My role has always been to share with them my so called rules of influencing public policy and support them in their own process to choose which policy change was the most important to their membership, reach out to other youth organizations like Teens Leading the Way and established advocacy groups to build a coalition to help them design and implement a public policy campaign. ,
Ten years ago it was convincing the Department of Education to restore civics as a graduation requirement s — of course it was a no, and so they moved ahead through Teens Lead the Way to build a grassroots lobbying campaign. And just recently that policy change was moving toward enactment with the public support of House and Senate Leadership.
About 6 years ago I got a call from UTEC to tell me that with Teens Leading the Way they had chosen another priority issue of expungement. Ever so cool, I asked them to define expungement for me as I rapidly googled the word because I had no idea what they were talking about. Long story short, we worked together to design a value based message and lobbying campaign and they reached out to the existing coalition around prison reform. Last week it was clear that expungement was included in the whole prison reform package and they started thanking everybody.
Teens Leading The Way
“Today (Yesterday 3/18) at noon the conference committee announced a final criminal justice omnibus bill and we are very happy to inform you that they chose to include strong language for expungement!!
Teens Leading The Way is proud to join so many amazing leaders on this campaign including Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Kay Khan and Representative Carolyn Dykema as lead bill sponsors with critical support from House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, Rep Jeffrey Sanchez, State Representative Claire Cronin, Senator Will Brownsberger, Senator Cynthia S Creem, and so many others. We are deeply appreciative of their shared leadership on this issue.
We’ve also been fortunate to work alongside many amazing advocacy groups and organizations along the way. Today is a major milestone and validates the idea that we can all make change together and that young people can have a seat at the policy-making table!
#expungeMA #mapoli #youthvoice #cjreformMA”
They even thanked me
This week has been unprecedented and historic for TLTW and we would have never been here if not for one of our original adult allies. Thank you Judy Meredith for teaching us to organize using shared values. This one’s for you! #ExpungeMA#SharedValues
The sweetest compliment came from one UTEC member to the trainer who had to google expungment in prep for the first value based messaging training.. I almost swooned ..
” Cliff Freeman I was actually thinking about this today. I remember Judy saying something like “there will be hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that will benefit from this and will never know your name.” This day was #Epic”
Here is a photo from that first value based training and I hope the editors can post it properly. Thanks.