Matt Strannigan, state coordinator of the Wyoming We the People (WTP) Program, received the 2016 “Making Democracy Work” award given by the Wyoming League of Women Voters on September 7.
In Wyoming Supreme Court Chambers, state and local dignitaries lauded Strannigan for growing civics education in the state. Wyoming LWV President Amy Williamson said, “What Matt has done with WTP gets to the core of the LWV’s Making Democracy Work Award and supports the reason we exist.” Secretary of State Ed Murray congratulated him for his efforts to encourage high school students to become the best citizens possible. Murray noted that the voter turnout rate for Wyoming young people ages 18 to 24 is just 10%; on the other hand, 92% of students who complete the WTP program vote.
The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program was created to commemorate the framing and adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and to revitalize education programs in the nation’s schools. Students prepare for competitive hearings by completing an instructional program using the text We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution. Team members become experts on areas of the constitution and “testify” before a panel of judges, legal scholars, justices, lawyers, and civic and community leaders.
In accepting the award, Strannigan thanked LWV and spoke about the impact the program has had on students and teachers throughout the state. Mary Garland, Ellbogen Foundation; William U. Hill, Wyoming Supreme Court, and Dick Kean, Wyoming History Day coordinator also spoke.
The 2017 "Making Democracy Work" Award will be presented Wednesday, September 6th, at 3:30 p.m. in Cheyenne. Watch this space for details.