My Experience At The Utah State Legislature: Part Three, Teaching the Peoplewebdev
Read Part One Here
Read Part Two Here
As a term of office in the Utah State House is only two years, all Representatives must campaign for reelection during the second year of a given term, if they desire to continue service.
Utah just went through the arduous task of re-districting and Representative Galvez not only faces normal second year campaigning, but his district and that of another Representative were combined so he is running against another currently serving Representative in a new district that is in part unknown to him.
Part of the process of serving the people is to keep them informed. Rep. Galvez does this in a couple of ways:
1. Daily responding to email and phone calls
2. A weekly newsletter to constituents
3. Inviting constituents to the Capitol
Last Friday we did just that. It was really an all day affair, and a busy day it was. While we still had to maintain the Representative’s daily schedule (8-10am committee meetings, 10-12pm floor time, 12-2pm, luncheons and constituents, 2-4pm more committee meetings, 4-5pm prep for next day, and 6-8pm scheduled evening activities), we also had constituents to care for from 8am to 8pm.
Lisa Galvez lead out during the day, hosting a 9-12 group who meet with the staff of a member of the House of Representatives in Washington to discuss the advisability of voting for or against “MDAA,” the Utah Attorney General’s office who expressed strong support for the “Sovereign States Initiative” discussed in the last post, and providing a great tour of the Capitol.
I taught a short lecture on cycles and education and then we began all over again with another group that night for “Pizza and Politics” (we thought of “Principles” after the flyers were sent out).
Representative Galvez spent 30 minutes updating this new group which numbered around 60 with a ton of kids. I again taught a 20 minute lecture on cycles and education. With so many kids there, I told a couple of stories and involved a number of young Constitution students in the lecture. Lisa then rounded out the night with pizza and a second tour of the Capitol.
Let me remind us all that these public servants still have personal, family, and business activities that have to be cared for and must be done after hours or put on hold altogether.
Much sacrifice goes into serving the public and there is little compensation.
It is true that some serve for the recognition, some for power, and some for the control. However, too often these are the only ones we see.
I am here to tell you that while some serve for personal and selfish reasons, many do not.
Many serve as does Representative Galvez, out of a sense of duty and honor and love for Utah and her people.
In my short experience here, I have come to understand that the best way the rest of us can thank the honorable and selfless public servants that represent us is to participate in the process. Gaining an understanding of the concerns facing the state. Stepping out of our own consuming worlds and finding ways to give to our own communities. Learning our unique caucus system (more on this next week) and participating.