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View Ridge Middle School students get civics lesson from Ridgefield mayor

The Columbian
Published: February 25, 2023, 5:59am

RIDGEFIELD — “How did you get to be mayor?” View Ridge Middle School’s seventh graders got the answer to that question and many more when Mayor Jennifer Lindsay came to speak to their Washington state history classes in January.

Lindsay was glad to share how she became the second female mayor in Ridgefield history. The mayor gave the students a quick overview of Ridgefield history, followed by describing her job in city government.

When the students had the chance to ask Lindsay questions, they did not hold back. “What are you most afraid of?” one student asked. Interestingly, Lindsay said, it was public speaking. She had to get over the fear and learn to be better at it.

“How many meetings do you attend a month?” another student asked. Lindsay counted through a list that included meetings with city council, the city manager and other organizations — and answered that it’s about a dozen regularly scheduled meetings, in addition to other duties.

Then Lindsay asked a question of her own. “What do you think the requirements are to be on city council?” There were many guesses, but in the end, students were surprised that there were only three requirements: be over 18, be a resident in the city of Ridgefield for at least one year and be a registered voter.

“It’s important that when you vote, you really do the research and learn about the people you’re electing. Your vote will affect the roads you drive on, the schools you go to, and everything else about the community you live in,” Lindsay said. She also reminded students that they could have their voices heard by attending council meetings.

As mayor, Lindsay realizes her decisions have an impact on the community, not just now, but for generations to come. And she hopes that at future council meetings, she will be hearing from some of these students, using their voices to help change Ridgefield for the better.