URGE Students Storming Their Statehouses!
This spring, across three states, URGE student activists have been talking to their elected officials about important legislation. In California, Georgia, and Kansas, these young people have sharpened their advocacy skills and made their voices heard.
Students from across the state Kansas came together on February 17 to lobby their elected officials against proposed legislation that would have restricted access to sex education for Kansas youth. Most dangerously, this legislation would have potentially established a permanent barrier to accessing comprehensive sex education for young people by creating a mandatory opt-in requirement for all students. Not long after this advocacy day, the opt-in provision was dropped from the bill and the legislation lost much of its momentum.
On March 5, students and advocates from Georgia gathered at the state capital for citizen lobby day to lobby against SB 98. The proposed legislation prohibited abortion coverage in the State Health Benefit Plan and in the federal healthcare exchange that Georgians can participate in under the Affordable Care Act. Working with partners from Planned Parenthood of the Southeast, many of the students had the opportunity to speak directly with their legislators about their objections to the bill.
In California, URGE chapters joined with several state based organizations for the California Reproductive Freedom Week. URGE staff traveled to both Southern and Northern California to training young leaders on advocacy. With over 50 young people trained at those two workshops, students were ready for a week of in district meetings about three separate bills that would expand reproductive health access.