AMHERST — As one of the youngest state legislators in the history of Massachusetts, Solomon Goldstein-Rose, 23, is happy to share his interest in politics with both his constituents and those who aren’t yet old enough to vote.
Hoping to inspire high school students, families with young children and community members to learn more about how government works, Goldstein-Rose and the League of Women Voters of Amherst are organizing an all-ages event called CivicsFest.
"This is meant to be an annual celebration and competition to engage people with politics and government," said Goldstein-Rose, who serves as the state representative for Amherst, Pelham and Precinct 1 in Granby.
CivicsFest, which will be held Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium at the Amherst Regional Middle School, will have a theme of American institutions and include debates, trivia contests and interactive theater and music performances. Goldstein-Rose is serving as master of ceremonies.
“This is about getting more people interested in politics, kids in particular,” said Cynthia Brubaker, a member of the League of Women Voters.
High school students will participate in short debates in which they will be given topics of local, state or national concern.
A panel of nine judges, dressed as Supreme Court justices, will then determine the merits of the debates. Among those playing the justices will be Goldstein-Rose’s predecessor, retired state Rep. Ellen Story, high school teacher Tom Fricke and School Committee member Eric Nakajima.
The theater portion will be led by Emma Ayers, an Amherst Regional graduate, who will encourage audience participation from those willing.
CivicsFest will also feature free food and music.
“It will be a little bit of fun and a little bit of education about government institutions,” Brubaker said.
She said the event fits in which the League’s endorsement of legislation that would reintegrate civics into school curriculums.
For more information, or to sign up to form a team to play in the trivia contest, call 253-6679, or visit www.lwva.com.
Scott Merzbach can be reached at email@example.com.