WASHINGTON, D.C. >> U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has launched his sixth annual State of the Union essay contest, calling upon Vermont's high school students to address what they view as the major issues facing the United States.
The U.S. Constitution calls for the president to "give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress in January, Sanders is again asking Vermont's high school students to consider writing an essay of 250 to 500 words detailing their own view of the state of the union.
Sanders' annual essay contest is an opportunity for Vermont high school students to articulate what issues they would prioritize if they were president. A panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays and select a winner. The finalists will have their essays entered into the Congressional Record — the official archive of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
"Our youth are the future of our country — and they must be involved in the discussion about where our country needs to go. This is a great opportunity for students to articulate their views and have their voices heard," said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee.
Since the contest was first held, more than 1,600 students from schools throughout Vermont have written essays on topics such as the declining middle class, climate change, health care reform, the rising cost of a college education, and many other issues.
The deadline for student essay submissions is Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. More information can be found on the senator's webpage at http://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion/ or by calling (800) 339-9834.