Government in Action

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Consider this kind of a part two of the Wanted: Good News entry. My daughter and I had a really great day. She is in Brownies and, as many of you probably know, it is the time of year for Girl Scout Cookie sales. One of her sales was to our State Representative, Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga). We offered to deliver them to her at work and since today was a half day of school, we called her office as we drove up to the Capitol. To our huge surprise, she had made arrangements for Katie to go out on the Floor while the House was in session.

Katie is standing on the desk, being introduced to the House. Barb is right next to her and you really can't see her all that well. I couldn't be on the Floor, so these pictures were obviously taken from the observation gallery. Following the introduction, Barb took her around and introduced her to several others, including the Speaker of the House and the delegation from the UP. She has a basic understanding of government, as much as can be expected for a 6 year old. It was probably more fun for me and I hope she remembers this.

All in all, I was very thankful for Barb doing this. She certainly didn't have to do this and I appreciate her taking the time to do such a nice thing. In case you are wondering, I did vote for her and, even before today, would vote for her again.


B Mac 8:17 PM  

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the Capitol. Not many kids get on the floor. I'm guessing she'll remember; I still remember State Representative James McNutt greeting my 4th-grade class back in the early 90's.

In my old job, I got to do things like that for constituents from time to time, and I know my boss genuinely liked meeting with tour groups, etc. Most of the Reps, regardless of their occasional political prickishness, do enjoy making visitors happy.

Tony 9:37 PM  

Very cool, Steve. Hopefully she will remember that. Great picture; too bad you could not be there with her!

Smitty 7:51 AM  

The Rep. in the bright red jacket standing behind your daughter and kind of holding her up is a freshman Rep Kate Seagal from Battle Creek, just as an FYI, and the Rep seated to her right is Joan Bauer from Lansing.

Nice to see you yesterday, and I really hope that this sparks something in your daughter where she runs for office some day. Women may be 51% of our total population, but they are only about 20% or so of the legislature.

Sopor 8:03 AM  

That's pretty cool! Glad we can still do things like this in our modern government.

Sopor 8:12 AM  

Ahhhhh but Pete brought up a good question AFK... who's the rep two rows up with the headphones on?

Joel 9:09 AM  

What a great picture! Smitty, which rep is taking the picture with his phone. LOVE THAT.

Smitty 9:28 AM  

The Rep with the headphones on is Rep. Coleman Young Jr (D - Detroit). They are a nearly permanent fixture on his head during session.

The Rep. taking the camera phone pic is another freshman, Doug Geiss (D - Taylor). Rep. Geiss, by the way, is a beer brewer of relatively high regard in the homebrewing circle.

Mrs. Smitty,  10:16 AM  

That's Rep Doug Geiss from Taylor taking the picture. Steves - you should check with Barb's office and see if our caucus photographer got any shots, she's normally good about that stuff. I was on the floor yesterday too and saw her. She was all smiles and the Reps love talking to kids (especially if it has to do with cookies!). That's very cool that she got that opportunity.

Mrs. Smitty,  10:23 AM  

P.S. I believe the Rep with the headphones on is Rep. Coleman Young. Looks like he's listening to whatever is on his laptop - they aren't allowed to have the volume on. Hope it was interesting...

Bob 12:27 PM  

As often as I can have a bad attitude about the legislature on occasion, these types of events can really still bring a smile to your face.

Before Christmas, one of the house staffers had her son surprise her by showing up at the House on leave from the Marines. (I think Marines) One of the House members, who I have great respect for, Rep. Espinoza, a vet himself, introduced him on the floor to great applause.

Sometimes that stuff can still choke you up.

steves 4:15 PM  

Thanks for putting names to the faces. Many of these names are familiar, but I would have a hard time recognizing them, especially from above. The caucus photographer got some great shots and Barb already e-mailed them to us.

Nice to see you yesterday, and I really hope that this sparks something in your daughter where she runs for office some day.

That would be nice. If not, I hope at least she will have enough of an interest to be an informed voter.

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