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February 9, 2012

YPW Day at the Capitol

Event Recap

Heather Bohrer

by Leadership Link Team Member

The Leadership Link Team of YPW has committed to provide events that bring awareness to the importance of our local and state government. One such keen initiation was to arrange a day trip to the state capitol, Topeka on Tuesday, Jan 24th 2012. This thoughtfully planned and brilliantly executed event was sponsored by iSi Environmental.

We arrived at Topeka around 10.30 am. The group was a true representation of YPW – engineers, financial consultants, business owners, students and job seekers all trying to get more involved in society. Some already had a political background while others, like me, were hoping to learn more about the political processes & persons involved. The House of Representatives session convened at 11.00 am and during the announcements the Speaker of the House introduced YPW and the legislators responded with a standing ovation to welcome us!

We then proceeded to lunch and an interactive session with legislators – Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R), Rep. Jim Ward (D), Sen. Garrett Love (R). The panel was very forthcoming with their answers about what inspired them to run for office and what the YPs can do to get more involved at an official level. The belief that they can make a difference and the desire to do it was the common theme of their motivation to seek a political career and that’s what still motivates them every day. They appreciate the citizen legislature system in Kansas which allows them to have regular work when the House / Senate are not in session. [The annual legislative sessions starts the second Monday in January and ends in early April (90 calendar days)]. Among the panel, Sen. Love (24 yrs of age) is a business owner while Rep. Ward is an Attorney by profession. The panel believed YPW is a good start to making a difference and suggested YPs get more active at the school, city or council level.

We then made our way to Governor Brownback’s office where we were shown around before the Governor arrived and answered a few questions. Then we started the tour of the Capitol building from the east wing, visited the House and Senate Chamber as well as sat in on a committee meeting.

We then met with Securities Commissioner, Aaron Jack, who shared his expert knowledge and views on some of the current issues. We then started on our way back to Wichita after an interesting and informative day at the Capitol. On a more personal note, what started as an opportunity to learn more about the political processes and meet prominent figures, ended with an appreciation for the approachable nature of the political leaders.

CLICK HERE to view pictures from the day!

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