Youth summit event connects teens to Congress

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Saturday, Democratic Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury met with a group of local teens to hear what issues they’re facing right now.

It was part of the youth summit held at the Explora, and the main goal was for Stansbury to really hear what the teens had to say. 

“Anybody can write a bill, you don’t have to be a member of Congress to write a bill,” said Rep. Melanie Stansbury. 

Stansbury spent her Saturday listening to a group of potential bill writers. 

“I think a lot of times young people don’t feel like their voices have the opportunity to be heard, and so we wanted to create a space that was really shaped by young people themselves,” said Stansbury. 

Her office partnered with local community groups to hold a youth summit at the Explora in Albuquerque. The goal was to create a space for teens to talk to Stansbury about what issues they’re facing right now. 

“To hear students voices for our own health, and for our own safety, and grown benefit. That’s inspiring,” said Emma Tyrrell, summit attendee. 

Tyrell attended the summit and says she’s glad she could voice her concerns right to her congresswoman. 

“We were talking about community safety, and kind of mental health awareness, which, as a high schooler, and as a teenager who is constantly under a lot of stress, that’s really important,” said Tyrrell. 

They also discussed homelessness, environmental concerns and education among other issues. 

Tyrrell says she hopes to see more summits like this. 

“It’s showing how our voices are being heard and how people are looking at us to- both for a precedent for the future, and also just to make sure that we’re represented in this government,” Tyrrell said. 

Stansbury says there were teens from all almost every part of New Mexico there, and she hopes to hold more meetings like this in the future.