Freshman organizes a town hall meeting on gun control


Kaitlin Tan

Freshman Julia Henning organized and will moderate a town hall discussion with U.S. representative Derek Kilmer and state representatives Laurie Jinkins and Jake Fey regarding issues relating to gun control, school safety, and legislative action. The discussion will be held at Mason United Methodist Church in Tacoma’s Proctor District this Saturday, April 7, from 2:00-4:00 pm.

Henning has been in collaboration with Kyungmin Yook, a freshman at Lakes High School, since the March for Our Lives after she messaged Yook on social media saying she wanted to work on the Town Hall project.

Last Wednesday, Henning and Yook teamed up to invite their representatives to participate. They contacted ten representatives, each with multiple phone calls and emails. Three representatives, Kilmer, Jinkins and Fey, will attend, and U.S. representative Denny Heck’s legislative assistant will provide a statement on his behalf.

Tacoma Public School District’s board vice president Karen Vialle and the assistant director of safety and security Mike Rupert will be present.

When contacting Kilmer, Henning admits she was very nervous; however, with her father’s reassurance and her own preparation, she spoke with Kilmer’s legislative assistant and received their support.

According to Eric Williams, the District Scheduler, “It’s incredibly motivating to all of us to see folks like yourselves [Henning and Yook] lift your voices through increased civic engagement. We certainly could use more of that in our society today.”

The date, April 7, has large significance because on April 11, the congressional leaders return to Washington D.C. “It’s important to get this done now because we want our congressmen to hear our voices and take action,” Henning said.