One Question, One Point, One Action - conversations with LFP councilmember Tracy Furutani about involving youth in civic actions

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Our local youth spoke at This year’s LFP Climate Town Hall
Pictured (right to left top to bottom): Isabella Tancreti and Noah Singleton, Shorecrest High School; Anna Cote, Bishop Blanchet High School; and Elise Foot Puchalski - ORCA High School

One Question, One Point, One Action

By Sally Yamasaki

One Question, One Point, One Action is a monthly article where a Lake Forest Park resident asks LFP Councilmember Tracy Furutani one question, and councilmember Tracy will answer the question and then highlight one point from a recent council meeting, and one action we as a community can take.

If you have a question you would like to ask Tracy, email your questions here: resident.of.lfp@gmail.com

This month, Lake Forest Park resident, Sarah Phillips, has a question for Tracy.

One Question

Sarah Phillips:

Hi Tracy, I know as a teacher, you work with young people. What do you see them bringing to the civic discussions in the future?

Tracy Furutani:

Hope! I see them bringing hope! My students, who range from high school age to the mid-twenties, engage with civic institutions, everything from campus clubs to national interest groups. 

Their take on world, national, and local events is informed by their engagement with social media, which brings a different perspective, compared to me, a "traditional" media consumer. They are able to synthesize good arguments from disparate sources of information, from Twitter to Telegram. Sure, there is a danger in accepting information at face value, but we've always lived with that problem.

I think it would be a foolish decision on the part of any organization to not seek out and welcome young people. 

Not only do they have the energy, but they also have a very clear sense that a lot of decisions being made now by governments, and for-profit and non-profits corporations will have a profound effect on how they will live their lives, and they'd like some ownership in that. 

Thus, I see them talking directly to elected officials, CEOs and other decision-makers about their concerns, something that I did not do when I was younger. 

I'm proud of our city because we have specifically reserved one seat, at a minimum, on the Climate Action Committee for a high-school or college student to make sure we always at least have one youth representation and I encourage other organizations to do the same.


One Point


A few months ago, a Kellogg middle-schooler asked me about making LFP more walkable and bike friendly. I explained to him that I too am a bike and safe-walkway advocate, and the city was working on trying to find funding. I am now happy to say that the city has received three grants that brings us closer to realizing our safe walk/bikeway from the Town Center to the waterfront.

At present, there is no completion date, as there are still steps to take before actual building can go on, but keep your eyes out as the city will be welcoming community comments, and that is pretty exciting news!

One Action

For Earth Day, Lake Forest Park community members came together to hold their second annual Climate Town Hall through the Third Place Commons. 

It was well attended and had speakers that addressed how to balance the climate anxiety we may be feeling and how to climb out of those feelings to find actions we can take.

At the Town Hall was a Youth Panel of local students who are actively making a difference.

My one Action is if you have time, watch the recording of the Climate Town Hall. If you are limited on time, watch the Youth panel. I think their brilliance will impress you, and with that fill you with hope for our future.


You can access the 2022 LFP Climate Town Hall recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8R7HLUJ948



2 comments:

Diane Pickrel,  May 6, 2022 at 12:05 AM  

We must listen to our youth as suggested. It’s their future. They have ideas too.

Anne Stadler,  May 6, 2022 at 8:09 AM  

Thank you all, especially you Sally Yamasaki, for pulling this very important conversation together! I know (and hope!) it could profoundly influence our personal & civic climate actions. Grateful to live in an area where our neighbors and elected representatives are committed to serving the health & well being of people & our home planet!

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