Be Humble

Have you ever really thought about the beauty of the nighttime sky? The awe is from the balls of fire that reside much further than man could travel in a lifetime. However, if all we saw was light from these stars we would take every individual one for granted. See the real reason why the sky is so beautiful at night is because of the darkness in between the illuminating specks. The truth revealed about the beauty of night is parallel to the beauty of our life on Earth. A life that is full of bad times and good times.

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On Wednesday, June 14,  the Governor’s Conference began in Washington, DC. On the first day, 42 teens in some of the highest positions of power in their state programs were sent the the Lincoln Memorial for the service project. The service project was far from glamorous. A sickness in the reflecting pool had led to the death of over 60 birds and caused a horrible smell in the heat. Yet, not a single kid declined going into the drained reflecting pool area and picking up every coin that sits on the concrete. The lesson that the gentleman running the service project was aiming to teach us is that no matter how much power you hold you must never think that any task that can positively impact another person is beneath you. Overall, stay humble.

IMG_3467This humble theme was carried throughout the whole conference. When hearing about the journey of the 41 other kids, you were humbled. When hearing each of them speak, you were humbled. When speakers came to give us advice, we were humbled. When we walked through the monuments and Arlington, we were humbled. When we attended the Congressional Baseball Game and saw the comradery of opposing parties in the aftermath of a tragic shooting, we were humbled. When we met all the alumni that attended the Gala, we were humbled. Thus, that seemed to have been the purpose of the entire 5 days in Washington, DC. What I took away was that nothing good will come from a group of people that believe that they are the center of the universe. Rather,  the possibilities are endless when they put aside their pride and accept each others opinions, values, and all that makes them who they are with genuine love.

IMG_3463All 42 participants came from their regular lives to a singular star within a universe. They were given a family in which the members embraced  you no matter who you truly are. A family that will be there for you for the rest of your life that came from all around America. However, at one point on Saturday night we all were told to look up while we sat on a grassy area in the middle the capital of our country. What we saw made us feel small but proud to be apart of  the priceless gift of being alive.

IMG_3468I found myself crying on the train ride back because I just wanted to stay in that space of such intense light forever. Any place that we all live seems the darkest corner in existence compared to the conference we just left, but at least we got to experience such light. My goal is to create such a blissful time for the participants of my program in Delaware.

Thank you to the YMCA for showing me what true happiness feels like so that I may attempt to spread that feeling to others and to always do so humbly. Also, I am eternally grateful for all the loving people you have brought into my life that will support me for the rest of time.

 

 

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Leadership

By Sarah Jones

Since Training and Elections Conference, and for some even before then, your 2017 Youth in Government leadership has been working to plan and prepare for the upcoming Model Legislative Conference.

 

James Humes once said “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” A good leader is the one who listens to those they lead and engineer their vision based on what they learned.

In YiG

 

Leading is such a heavy word and it comes loaded with all kinds of responsibilities. Lucky for us our 2017 youth leadership, both elected and appointed, are more than capable and ready to bear that weight. They all proudly exemplify the four core values

A Turbulent Tie in the Senate

 

Debate heightened in each chamber yesterday over Clancy Gates’ No-Knock Raids Bill. Representative Gates, expressed that he was in fact very nervous for the debate of such a controversial bill, but was excited that it could invoke so much discussion. After debate and lobbyist speeches, the Senate was left in a tie. Lucy Zuo, of the Charter School of Wilmington Delegation, said that the debate was very divided, strong, and interesting in the Senate. Some pros brought up for the bill included protecting citizens and police officers while providing privacy and state of mind for citizens of Delaware. However, some Senators expressed the worry that evidence could be easily destroyed in many cases before the police could search. Senator Zuo, also explained the feeling in the room as the votes were counted, she said, “the room was very tense, and we all knew that it would be a very close vote, if not evenly split.” First, the bill was said to have been passed, but then someone called division and the vote was recounted. After the recount, the Senators realized that it was an even tie. Richie Edwards, the President of the Senate, had to vote to decide if the bill was passed or reconsidered for Amendments. Senators knew he was very nervous, as he reread the bill and carefully reviewed the argument, but in the end Edwards voted to pass the bill. After the bill was passed, excitement surged through the Senate room, and everyone seemed excited to pass something so controversial. Clancy revealed that he was very proud of the bill and everyone who worked hard to perfect it with him. Congratulations to Clancy Gates and everyone involved in the passing of this bill!

The Mixer

 

IMG_5395.JPGBy: Benj Schwartz
This year’s mixer was jam packed with entertaining and enjoyable games. To start off, the delegates played a form of bingo in which each box was a random description. The goal was to meet new people and have them sign the box that related to them. Examples of the topics in the boxes could range from “someone shorter than five foot four” to “someone who plays soccer”. After the delegate had bingo they would get a piece of paper with a picture of a part of a burger. The delegate would go around and try to find others with different parts (cheese, bun, lettuce, etc.) to finish and complete the burger. First group of people to complete their burger and sit down wins. The next game was a crazy and wacky fashion show. Two groups would combine and pick one person to represent them in the fashion show. They were allowed to use newspaper and tape to dress up their representative as best they could, without speaking. Zak Baillie took home first place for the second year in a row with his incredible walk across the room. Lastly, the delegates played a game in which their group of around 14 to 15 people would gather in a circle and reach across each other to form a giant knot. Without letting go, delegates would try to untangle their gigantic knot by crawling under, stepping over, and wiggling through each other. The Mixer allowed delegates to meet new people, have fun, and interact with each other through crazy games.

 

Lobbying for a Better Bill  

DSCN2920.JPGBy: Katie Thompson

The lobbyists are hard at work here in legislative hall, as they have been given a company that they must represent. The delegates in the lobbyist branch argue to either support or oppose a bill, based on how their companies would most likely act upon it. The lobbyists are given a one to two minute time slot, (the time is determined by however long the pro/con speakers get, and how many lobbyists wish to speak on the bill) to argue whether or not the chamber should or should not pass the bill currently on the floor. In this one to two minute time slot, the lobbyist give their company’s point of view and state and explain the reasons why the bill should or should not travel to the next chamber, (or to Governor Campbell’s office if it is already in the second chamber). The lobbyists’ organizations/companies range from universities, to major corporations such as DuPont and W.L. Gore Associates, to nonprofit   organizations such as Sierra Club. No matter how different the companies and organizations may be, they all have the same goal: to influence the legislators to pass bills that would benefit them and persuade them to have bills that wouldn’t fail.

Get the Bills Rolling

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By Kevin White

The first bill debated on in the Read House Docket was written by Brianna Boyd from the Dover YMCA and concerned the profiling of dogs. The bill had the purpose of preventing dogs from being discriminated against in leasing and renting agreements based on their breed. The author explained that Rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds and bulldogs are a few examples of dogs that are assumed to be very aggressive when in reality, this is just a stereotype and there are other dogs that are more aggressive. Delegates debating for the bill state that not allowing certain dogs in a household is a form a discrimination and should not be tolerated; on the other hand, delegates who debated con on the bill argued that tenants may have logical reasons, like traumatic events for not wanting a certain type of dog to be allowed in a leasing or renting agreement. For example, one delegate mentioned that the landlord or renter might have had a traumatic experience with a certain type of dog and that’s why they don’t want to allow that type of dog on their property. In her summation speech, Boyd reaffirmed that the bill wasn’t for personal reasons but actually was based on principle. The main purpose of the bill is to eliminate discrimination from dogs that are assumed to be aggressive because of past events and appearance. She also mentions that the SPCA has papers on most dogs saying if the dog is aggressive or not. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the chair the bill did not pass; however, Boyd successfully opened the eyes of the representatives to an interesting issue that isn’t well known. Maybe in the future, the issue that Boyd’s bill concerned will be a addressed and reformed.

 

In the Rodney House Docket a bill was debated on concerning “No-Knock Raids”. This bill, written by Clancy Gates of Conrad Schools of Science, has the purpose of banning “No-Knock Raids” which are situations in which law enforcement officers barge into the residence of a suspect without warning and only identify themselves as law enforcement until they forcefully enter the property. To carry out these “No-Knock Raids” law enforcement must receive a “No-Knock Warrant” from a judge which serves as permission for the raid. The bill specifically wants to ban judges from providing these warrants. Delegates who argued against the bill argued that by warning the potential suspect of the raid, the suspect may be able to hide the evidence, destroy the evidence or escape the premises. Delegates who argued for the bill stated that “No-Knock Raids” are a form of police brutality. Also, the author cited multiple examples of innocent suspects or people being injured or killed because of a misunderstanding in a no knock raid. To strengthen the bill further, Chief of Staff Nicole Kennedy also took to the podium to discuss an example of a casualty as an effect of a “No-Knock Raid” on the wrong house. In the author’s closing summation he commented once more on the many examples of misunderstandings of “No-Knock Raids” resulting in deaths. In the eyes of the chair house bill #5 did pass.

 

Make a Difference and Donate!

IMG_1737-1By: Benj Schwartz

Two separate service projects are being set up for this year of Youth in Government. One of which is the canned food drive for the Food Bank of Delaware. The leadership team decided on a canned food drive because of its success in past years. The Food Bank of Delaware provides low or no-cost food to qualified feeding programs throughout Delaware. They also inform the Delaware community about hunger issues and food security. Delegates can put their donated food in boxes found on the first floor behind the staircase. Every type of food is needed and wanted other than chocolate bars and soft candies such as caramel and marshmallows. In addition to the food drive, YIG is making cards and letters for refugees introduced by Emily Monnig, a Conrad delegate. The materials to make these letters will be handed out at the conferences and collected throughout the day. Let’s try to reach Maddie Campbell’s goal of having every single delegate participate in making a card or letter. It is super simple and will only take but five minutes of your free time to show these refugees that we care for them.

“Joe Biden is Bae” – Maddie Campbell

IMG_8361.JPGBy: Daniel Kriner

Youth Governor Maddie Campbell opened up about her excitement for the 2017 YIG conference! For 12 months, she worked very closely with all of the leaders of the program and put in countless hours of work to prepare for this conference. Now that we are actually here, she expressed her thrill to see all of the work they put in become a reality and to see how well all of the delegates do. After being asked if she was hopeful for this weekend, she said she was well beyond hopeful for the program. With supportive words towards the leadership team of the year, she said “Last night all of us got to do some training together, before everyone else got here today. We all shared one goal and one fear, and it was really great to hear that everyone’s goal was relatively the same: make sure all the delegates have a fulfilling conference. It’s great to see a team of so many different kinds of people come together and establish a common goal, and want to support everybody else.” Even though a lot of people don’t interact with the Youth Governor directly, she is very involved in everybody’s experience throughout the weekend. She “floats” around and makes sure that everything is running smoothly. She looks at all of the bills, and decides if she agrees with them or not, and if she does, is there anything that she wants to see changed. She is the one who vetoes bills, and when that happens, a bill is debated again, and if it is sent back to her, Maddie is the one who officially passes a legislative bill. She also gets to hang out with the middle schoolers and give them advice and encourage them to do the program throughout their high school career. While most of the work she does is before conference even begins, she says that all everything done by her this weekend is a result of all the work that everybody else does. Although she is hopeful and great at her job, she did face a few struggles coming into her position. “I’m actually the first youth governor who came from the judicial program,” Maddie explains. ‘So to actually be IN the conference and having such an important role, it feels like walking on a completely different side of the street.” However, she is still very excited and determined to make sure everybody does a great job at conference this weekend! Fun facts about Maddie: Welch Fruit Snacks are her favorite snack, she loves the new Ed Sheeran album, and she says that Joe Biden is her favorite politician and is “bae”.

Great Start to the 2017 Youth in Government Conference

109By: Nawel Hamroun and Eden Rose

 This year, the youth in government program kicked off the start of the Legislative weekend with guest speakers, leadership introductions and wise words from the youth governor. After the representatives and senators were sworn in, Governor Carney delivered a speech. In this speech, he described his experience as a representative and encouraged the delegates to stay involved in the parliamentary system. Carney then handed the microphone to the Youth Governor, Maddie Campbell. In her speech, she spoke on issues in education, gave advice to delegates, and the importance of involvement in the government. In addition to this Ria Swaminathan spoke and reminded the delegates to “argue with passion, disagree with respect, make the best use of this weekend and most of all have fun.”  

Get to know the Governor

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By Eden Rose and Daniel Kriner

Maddie Campbell, the 2017 Youth Governor, is very excited for the upcoming conference. She loves the feeling of community, delegates being able to find their voice, and   using your opinions for positiveness. She hopes that this program will impact the future and will encourage others to make new friends. She is looking forward to being in legislative hall, being a part of the legislative process and her involvement in the House. Also, Maddie is excited about  newly implemented program where a first-year delegate will be paired with an experienced delegate from a separate   delegation to develop arguments, answer questions, and boost community within conference. Fun facts about Maddie: her favorite color is purple, her favorite snack is any type of gummy candy, her favorite sport is soccer, and her favorite politician would be Senator Warren or Joe Biden.