This past February, JSA student leaders hosted six successful Winter Congress conventions across the nation, beginning with conventions in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest and ending with conventions in Southern California and Northeast. Winter Congress 2017 brought together nearly 4,000 students across 17 states for this congressional simulation.
JSA students highly anticipate Winter Congress because of its immersive, engaging format, which differs from that of traditional debates. Instead of pondering riveting resolutions prepared by student leadership, delegates debate controversial bills written by the delegates themselves. In this way, Winter Congress uniquely places control of the debates into the hands of the students themselves, which can make for some incredibly exciting moments in discussion and argumentation. Put simply, Winter Congress is a convention by the students, of the students, for the students.
Bills written by students cover a wide variety of topics – everything from renewable energy to space exploration to free trade to social justice. Once they’re submitted, they’re debated at the convention, and if the bill writers are able to make their case, they’re fortunate enough to see their bill pass through two intense sessions of debate. Below is a list of some of the more popular bills that passed at several of our Congress conventions.
- A Bill to Implement Paid Parental Leave
- A Bill to Reform Health Education in Public High Schools
- A Bill to Remove the Luxury Tax on All Feminine Hygiene Products
- A Bill to Remove Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws for Nonviolent Drug Offenses
- A Constitutional Amendment to Establish Equal Representation for American Citizens Residing in U.S. Territories
- A Bill to Increase Government Funding for Energy Research
- A Bill to Reform the Immigration System
JSA also congratulates those students who were named as Best Speaker in their Winter Congress. This distinction is given to those students whose speeches held the most significance in their respective committees. To view the full list of best speakers from all Winter Congress conventions, click here.