Last stop on my way out of town before taking the Oath of Office was Rapid Valley Elementary School! I was student council president at Rapid Valley in 1994 (District 35 for those that don't know). On January 13th, 2020 I was able to visit with their student leadership group. They came with great questions, here are just a few: What is your favorite color? How old are you? How did you become a senator? How are you going to make college affordable? Are you ever going to run for Governor?
Some of these were harder to answer than others!
Here is a little bit of what I prepared for them-
What is the State Senate? What does a State Senator do?
The State Senate is part of the legislative (lawmaking) branch of our government along with the House of Representatives. There are 35 State Senators (I’m one of those) and 70 members of the House of Representatives. That means that each senator tries to represent the voice of and vote on behalf of about 22,000 people!
What is the best thing about being in leadership/government roles?
My favorite thing is the ability to help others. It means a lot to me to have the chance to be a leader to help influence things that make people happier, healthier, and safer. This is very important to me.
What is the most challenging thing about being in leadership/government roles?
One of the most challenging things I think is dealing with criticism and negativity from other people. Just like when you’re in school, when you’re a leader or in government people will share things with you, not always in a helpful or nice way. You have to be respectful of others, but also know when to have a sense of humor, when there was truth to what they said and you might need to adjust something, or when to simply agree to disagree.
If I could offer any words of encouragement, they would be this:
Keep an open mind- you never know what opportunities will come your way. Don’t limit yourself, try new things, and stay true to yourself!