Some people while growing up or when they grow up they look at politicians and think that politicians are perfect meaning they are smart and went to the BEST schools and ALWAYS know what they are talking about . And some people grow up thinking that politicians are all the above mentioned but then have a so called " Wake up call " and realize that politicians are just like you and me . Then there are people who know all along that politicians are just like you and me .
I have no intention whatsoever to talk about the current President . That would be a whole other ball game rant for another blog post .
However i do want to talk about a recent experience I had during a two day training at my local Government building . It was incredibly profound and eye opening for me !
This past week I took a two day class called " Citizens Legislative Seminar " ( CLS ) .
The first day was orientation and hearing from Clerks and a few Senators AND The Senate President personally !
Each shared their story and how they handle their differences between Republicans and Democrats and how they discuss issues about bills that need to be voted on .
I realize we ( Attendees of this seminar ) only had a glimpse at a few Senators and some were Republicans and some were Democrats and they actually were quite respectful with each other and one Republican shared how he would respectfully discuss a bill he did not approve of with a democrat who was very supportive and wanted to understand the perspective of said Senator . His exact words were " Listen , tell me . What am I missing here ? What am I not seeing ?"
After a break we did a simulation of testifying about the bill on plastic bags ( The ban of plastic bags ) with a Senator who wanted to show us how this testifying process works .
On the next day we did a more interesting simulation . Each attendee was a Senator of their town and each of us had the responsibility to ask questions , share a bill that should be amended ( Changed or improved ) or share concerns about said amendment .
The subject again was the bill about plastic bags .
I was obviously The Senator of my town " Representing the people of my town "
The Senate President was presiding over this bill hearing and we had to Adress The Senate President when we wanted to speak up . A few " Senators " came up with an Amendment for the plastic bag bill . Changes they wanted to see get passed . At The Senate hearing , it was interesting to listen to each person and their suggestions .
One Senator was very focused on banning plastic bags altogether and instead offering reusable bags that could be purchased and had to be washable ( Possibly in a wash machine ) .
A Senator presented a change of the bill in way that could possibly improve the environment and help people who are elderly / Low income / Fixed income / Disabled .
Another Senator suggested that people should collect bottles and cans and use that money to pay for plastic bags or any grocery bag that is being given out at stores .
Again another Senator was far more focused on having washable renewable bags . ( seemed to be her main priority )
I decided to speak up and share my concerns about the ban in itself and the washable bags and about collecting bottles and cans .
I shared my concern by explaining that although there are many people in my state and my city who get a stable paycheck and do not have to worry much about spending money on a grocery bag , But also there are a lot of elderly and disabled people and low income families who cannot afford to pay for a bag . Some people need to buy a snack to digest easier their medication and cannot afford to pay additionally for a bag ( Sorry for TMI ! ) and possibly need a plastic bag because they cannot hold something in their hand due to a disability and other . Some people are not able to carry a bag with them all the time again due to mobility issues and other and although there are people who collect bottles and cans again NOT everybody is able to do such .
Thankfully another " Senator "suggested that people on foodstamps or other government assistants should be excempt from paying for a grocery bag .
A lot of people were in favor of improving the bill for said population thankfully and the bill was " passed " with said improvements .
Of course there were a couple who were opposed for their own reasons .
It was definetely an interesting experience and The Senate President wanted us to see what had just transpired and wanted us to understand that actual Senators could talk about a bill the exact same way we all did .
Any of us could be a Senator and disagree or agree with a bill that could actually benefit everybody or or only a certain population based upon our personal beliefs or interests .
The BEST part of this entire experience was that we were all respectful of each other and did not insult or degrade each other after this meeting .
I honesty wish all State Representatives and Senators could be civil /Respectful .
Senators can be jerks and or good people just like us .
Thank you for reading