Student tackles Alaska legislation

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, April 5, 2015 7:46pm
  • News

Student Jackson Blackwell is diving into local politics as a Soldotna High School sophomore.

As his grade’s vice president, a member of the Kenai Peninsula Youth Court and the student representative on the Soldotna City Council, Blackwell recently levied his experiences into the state capitol’s political sphere during the 2015 legislative session.

In February he spent one day lobbying for the American Cancer Society. He travelled to Juneau with Soldotna’s Teens Against Tobacco Use chapter and the Teen Tobacco Control Line to speak out on the dangers of tobacco products.

Blackwell spent a few hours acting as a guest page in the House of Representatives for Rep. Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna, he said.

“That was really cool,” Blackwell said. “I learned a lot from that.”

Most surprising was the representatives communicate with handwritten notes during the session, since they are not allowed to use phones, Blackwell said. Texting is out, he said. Back home, Blackwell was the catalyst that reintroduced the student representative seat back to Soldotna’s City Council. After he was elected as sophomore class vice president, he met with council member, and Soldotna High School teacher Meggean Bos to look at the possibilities of reviving the position.

Blackwell said he wanted to be the liaison between school and city. He uses his role to advocate for the youth voice within the community, he said.

Recently Blackwell heard a piece of information that Senator Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, which made an impact on him about the importance of officials being aware the student voice in the capitol.

“One letter of a student is worth ten from adults,” Blackwell said.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read